South Korea has no right to talk about visits to Kaesong industrial park: North Korea

A South Korean security guard stands guard on an empty road which leads to the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) in Paju, South Korea on Feb 11, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - North Korea said on Friday (Oct 20) that South Korea is not entitled to permit its nationals to visit the inter-Korean complex in the North's border city of Kaesong, amid signs of a unilateral resumption of its operation by the North.

Meanwhile, Seoul's Unification Ministry deferred a plan to deliver to the North the visitation request of a group of businessmen who ran factories at Kaesong industrial park

"South Korea does not have the right, reason, nor honour to talk about the issues surrounding the Kaesong Industrial Complex," said North Korea's state-run propaganda outlet Uriminzokkiri.

"It is South Korea (who has brought this situation upon themselves)," the outlet added.

It also lambasted South Korea for "actively supporting the current series of sanctions led by the US against the regime" and said Seoul should focus on handing compensation to the businessmen.

Last week, 40 South Korean businessmen asked the Moon Jae In administration to approve their visit to Kaesong over mounting suspicions of North Korea's use of their assets without consent.

The Unification Ministry vowed to review the application, but stressed it needs Pyongyang to guarantee the safety of the visitors, before finalizing the approval. It said it would convey their wish to the North.

The ministry's own decision on whether to allow the North Korean visits was scheduled to come on Friday afternoon, but was cancelled after the release of the North's criticism.

Kaesong industrial park was shut down in 2016 by the South Korean government on suspicions that it was funding the North's nuclear and missile program.

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