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N. Korea accepts S. Korean lawmakers' visit to Kaesong complex

2013/10/24 11:13

SEOUL, Oct. 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Thursday it will allow South Korean lawmakers to visit the inter-Korean factory park in Kaesong to check business conditions at the complex that has reopened after being closed for more than five months, a Seoul official said.

"The North sent its acceptance earlier in the day, and this has been forwarded to the National Assembly's Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee," said the unification ministry official, who declined to be identified.

He said details of the itinerary have not been set, but the ministry will work with lawmakers to determine the exact number of people who will go to the Kaesong Industrial Complex next Wednesday, what they will do in the North Korean border town and arrange the necessary meetings.

The official said that the North probably accepted the request because they knew lawmakers wanted to tour the industrial complex to help the 123 South Korean companies that operate factories there.

Many companies have complained that the loss of orders during the shutdown period has hurt production. They have asked for more assistance from Seoul.

The visit marks the first time that lawmakers will visit the North while parliament is holding an audit on the government.

Seoul had conveyed the lawmakers' request to the North on Oct. 16 and had been waiting for a reply.

yonngong@yna.co.kr

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