Internet to Reach Kaesong after Ten Years

The two Koreas have reached agreement on the use of Internet services within the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), the Ministry of Unification reported
today.

An inter-Korean committee charged with discussing matters of
passage, communications and customs related to the KIC reached the agreement on
the 7th. The committee concluded discussion of issues pertaining to connectivity, as well as service provision routes, security measures and user verification.

The first step to full connectivity will be an “Internet
cafe” housed within the existing KIC support center. This will contain 20
computers. Thereafter, individual companies are set to receive full connectivity to their offices.

“We are planning to launch the basic level of Internet
services at the Kaesong Industrial Complex starting in the first half of this
year,” a Ministry of Unification spokesperson explained. “Officials and
employees in the North’s border city will be able to use most of the online
services now available in South Korea.”

The spokesperson went on to add that the move to deliver Internet provision within the KIC is intended to “enhance efficiency, cut costs and
guarantee security.” The lack of Internet provision is rumored to be one of the stumbling blocks to significant outside investment in the KIC.

The agreement comes after North Korea, although initially
adjudged to have taken a positive approach to the work of the committee on passage,
communications and customs, postponed a decision on the specific issue of
Internet connection on successive occasions.

The two sides did not reach agreement on the subject of
cellular telephone usage during the latest meeting.

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