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Output from Kaesong complex jumps 17.5 pct on-year in 2012
SEOUL, Jan. 10 (Yonhap) -- Production at the Kaesong Industrial Complex grew 17.5 percent last year from a year earlier as South Korean firms employed more North Korean workers, which raised output, Seoul's Unification Ministry said Thursday.

   The total output by the 123 South Korean firms operating in the inter-Korean economic project zone is estimated to have reached US$470 million during the one year period, according to data released by the ministry handling inter-Korean affairs.

   The total number of North Korean workers employed at the industrial park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, rose to 53,507 as of the end of 2012, up from 49,866 a year earlier, according to the data.

   The inter-Korean economic cooperation project is designed to facilitate closer economic ties by allowing deep-pocketed South Korean firms to hire cheap North Korean labor in the labor-intensive garment and electronics sectors.

   It is considered the crowning achievement of the 2000 inter-Korean summit between former President Kim Dae-jung and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-il, the late father to incumbent leader Kim Jong-un.

  



As part of the efforts to improve working conditions for South Korean workers in the zone, the ministry completed major repair work in the road that leads to the plant area from the South, and opened a medical facility as well as upgraded a fire station, the ministry said.

   Two resident medical doctors from South Korea's Paik Hospital started medical service at Kaesong Complex last month under a contract reached with the government, the ministry said.

   pbr@yna.co.kr
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