SEOUL, April 26 (Yonhap) -- South Korea announced its decision Friday to withdraw all of its workers from a jointly run industrial complex in North Korea after Pyongyang spurned its offer for dialogue to resolve disputes over the last symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement.
The South Korean decision, announced by its unification minister, Ryoo Kihl-jae, called into question the fate of the Kaesong Industrial Complex which has been in limbo for nearly a month.
"We made the decision to withdraw all workers in light of mounting difficulties they face at the complex," Ryoo told a nationally televised news conference.
A total of 175 South Koreans remained at the factory zone as of Friday, down from the usual 800 workers there, according to Unification Ministry officials. On April 9, North Korea had pulled out all of its 53,000 workers from the zone, virtually shutting it down.
Ryoo accused North Korea of reneging on its obligations and agreements it had reached with South Korea to open the zone in 2004. The project is a direct product of the historic inter-Korean summit in 2000.
The South Korean decision came hours after North Korea turned down Seoul's proposal for dialogue, warning that it could take "grave action" of its own in regards to the industrial zone.
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