North Korea demanded a 3,000 percent hike in rent Thursday from South Korea for the site of a joint industrial park at the center of a dispute roiling their relations. It also sought a fourfold increase in wages for North Korean workers employed by South Korean companies at the park, an official said.
The unexpectedly large demand is likely to set back reconciliation moves between the two countries, which have been slowed enormously by North Korea's recent nuclear and missile tests and the detention of a South Korean worker at the industrial park.
More than 100 South Korean companies have factories in the park in Kaesong, a North Korean border town, employing some 40,000 North Koreans. They are paid about $70 a month on average.