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Kaesong industrial park's output up 23 pct in H1
SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- Output in North Korea's Kaesong industrial park jumped 23 percent in the first half of this year from a year earlier as more North Korean laborers worked at the South-North joint industrial project, Seoul said Tuesday.

   The value of products manufactured at the industrial zone in the North Korean border city amounted to US$236.08 million during the January-June period of this year, compared with $192.01 million for the same period last year, according to the Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean issues.

   This year's growth reflects steady output increases over recent years in the industrial zone where South Korean firms, mostly manufacturers, employ North Korean workers as part of economic exchanges between the two countries.

   The Kaesong Industrial Complex's monthly production value surpassed the $40-million level for the first time in March before nearing $43 million in both May and June, according to the ministry.

   The growth can be attributed to a growing number of North Korean workers at the industrial complex where mostly labor-intensive South Korean manufacturers utilize cheap labor from the North.

   The total number of North Korean workers in the Kaesong park stood at 51,310 as of the end of June after touching the 50,000-level in January. The number for January last year was 46,194, the ministry said.

   pbr@yna.co.kr
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