North, South Korea agree fresh talks over closed factories

July 4, 2013 16:02

SEOUL - North and South Korea agreed on Thursday to hold talks aimed at reopening a jointly run factory park that was a rare source of cash for the North three weeks after their last attempt at dialogue collapsed in bickering over protocol.

North Korea accepted the South's proposal, made by its Unification Ministry, paving the way for talks on Saturday at the Panmunjom truce village that straddles their heavily militarized border."The North agreed to working-level talks at 10 o'clock on July Pammunjom," the Unification Ministry said in a statement.

The two sides used a telephone hotline restored by the North late on Wednesday amid pressure from owners of small and medium South Korean firms in the Kaesong industrial zone. The companies had sought action to stem losses caused by the shutdown.

"The proposal takes into account the big problems facing the firms of Kaesong industrial zone three months after it was suspended and the potential damage anticipated with the start of the monsoon season," ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk said in calling for the talks.

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