(LEAD) Technicians to hold talks Friday for data transfer system
SEOUL, Dec. 5 (Yonhap) -- A team of South Korean telecom technicians will hold additional talks at the joint factory park in North Korea to finalize details for the establishment of a wireless data transfer system that can facilitate cross-border movement of people and materials, the government said Thursday.
The six-member team that held talks with its North Korean counterpart to fix a start date for installing the radio frequency identification tag (RFID) system was unable to conclude talks, Seoul's Ministry of Unification said. It said the two sides agreed to continue their discussions on Friday at the Kaesong Industrial Complex in the North Korean border city of the same name.
"More time is needed to work out various issues," a ministry official said.
He said if an agreement is reached in Friday's talks, actual work should begin next week with the goal of getting the RFID system operational by early next month. The team visited the North earlier this week to discuss the project.
The two Koreas had agreed last Friday to start work on the RFID system as soon as possible. The headway was made at the transit and communication sub-panel of the joint management committee that runs the joint industrial park.
Setting up an RFID system over the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries is seen as an important first step to raise the international competitiveness of the complex that first started churning out goods in late 2004.
It will address a primary grievance of Kaesong-based South Korean companies, which have had to follow strict rules governing movement to and from the complex. The industrial park is now home to 123 South Korean factories.
Once set up, the system could make it much easier for people to travel to Kaesong.
The ministry in charge of regulating cross-border cooperation, meanwhile, said that despite speculation of a power struggle taking place in the North, Pyongyang has not altered any schedules for talks to improve the competitiveness of Kaesong.
In addition to the RFID negotiations, the two sides plan to hold talks Friday on establishing Internet connectivity at Kaesong, allowing South Korean workers to use mobile phones there and carry out customs reforms.