North Korea is suspending train operations between the two Koreas and has ordered the South to withdraw half the staff of the Kaesong Industrial Complex Management Committee by late November.
The spokesperson of the Unification Ministry Kim Ho Nyon revealed on Monday in his daily briefing that, “North Korea sent a notice to the Kaesong Industrial Complex Management Committee to withdraw half its staff by late November and to reduce by half the number of residing affiliates with enterprises, including construction and service sections.”
According to the notice, Kim added, “Persons from the fields of economic cooperation and exchange will be restrained from passing through the Military Demarcation Line and going beyond the boundaries of the 330 hectares of the Kaesong Complex. The future of the [Kaesong] Industrial Complex and North-South relations is up to the South’s attitude.”
In a notice to the South’s enterprises, North Korea stated that, “The responsibility for this stringent situation lies with South Korea, which has denied the June 15 Joint Declaration and the October 4 Agreement and obstinately pursued confrontation with the North.”
The notice said that, “We do not want the South’s small and medium-sized enterprises to fall victim to the South’s reckless confrontation policy. In contemplation of the difficult conditions of the South’ small and medium-sized enterprises, we have decided to guarantee enterprise activities in the Kaesong Complex and to allow the minimum staff among the residing personnel, so they will be excluded from the blockage measures on overland passage through the MDL.”
North Korea sent a separate notice to Representative of Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency Kim Joo Cheol.
According to the Ministry of Unification, North Korea stated that, “All the South Korean personnel, with the exception of those who are necessary for the minimal operation of the Kaesong Complex will be strictly restrained.”
The notice said that, “The North-South Economic Cooperation Council will be closed down and all Southern staff in it will be expelled to South Korea. The Kaesong Tour operated by Hyundai Asan is additionally suspended.”
“Overland passage through the MDL for South Korean private organizations for purposes of several kinds of cooperative exchange and trade will be banned. Only essential materials and those involved in transportation are allowed.”
It stated that, “Train operations between Bongdong Station in the North and Munsan Station in the South will be suspended.” The North warned that, “If the South does not respond to this measure and causes problems, we will impose strong legal sanctions.”
Chosun (North Korea) Central News Agency released on the same day that, from December 1st, the Kaesong Tour is completely suspended.
According to the News Agency, these are the “initial measures.”