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N. Korea to pull workers from key joint industrial zone

Published on Apr 9, 2013 6:16 AM
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A South Korean security guard stands on the road leading to North Korea's Kaesong joint industrial complex, in front of the closed gate of the inter-Korean transit office in the border city of Paju on April 8, 2013. North Korea said Monday it was withdrawing all workers and suspending operations at a lucrative joint industrial zone with South Korea, blaming foreign warmongers at a time of acute tensions. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea said on Monday it was withdrawing all workers and suspending operations at a lucrative joint industrial zone with South Korea, blaming foreign "warmongers" at a time of acute tensions.

The announcement came amid reports of heightened activity at the North's nuclear test site, and at a missile battery, although the South Korean government denied suggestions that a fourth nuclear test was imminent.

North Korea "will withdraw all its employees" from the Kaesong industrial zone, Kim Yang Gon, a senior ruling party official, said in a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency.

Pyongyang will also "temporarily suspend the operations in the zone and examine the issue of whether it will allow its existence or close it", Mr Kim said of Kaesong, which sits 10km inside North Korea.

 
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