Koreas Agree to Reopen Kaesong Industrial Complex

As North and South Korean negotiators shook hands over the final agreement to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex, it looks like the tension of the past five months is finally easing. Online reaction, which has always been outspoken about suspicions that South Korea is losing more than it gains from the agreement, cautiously welcomed the latest development and complimented the negotiating strategy of President Park Geun-hye.

From Yonhap News:

Koreas reach five-point agreement to reopen Kaesong Industrial Complex

On August 14th, South and North Korea adopted a five-point agreement to restart operations within the Kaesong Industrial Complex. The agreement was reached 133 days after the shutdown. The biggest sticking point during negotiations was how to obtain assurances that such a shutdown would not happen again in the future. In reaction to this concern, North and South publicly agreed not to shut down the complex again under any circumstances.

North Korea waits in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, saying, "please, stay a while..."

North Korea waits in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, saying, “please, stay a while…”

The final agreement included clauses stating that the South and the North will not restrict travel in and out of the complex, will not withdraw their workers, and will preserve the property of businesses within the complex regardless of any future disruptions. Our government initially asserted during negotiations that only the North should be the agent who guarantees stability of the industrial complex, however they ended up taking a compromise position.

The Koreas agreed to deal with the compensation problems for the companies damaged by the shutdown of the complex within the soon-to-be-formed ‘Inter-Korean Committee for the Kaesong Industrial Complex’. They also agreed to guarantee the personal security of personnel and business property, and resolve issues related to passage, communication and customs. Guarantees on freedom of use of the internet and mobile phones and a simplified customs procedure were also codified in the new agreement. The Koreas also agreed to adhere to the international standards for business activities to enhance the industrial complex’s competitiveness. Along these lines, they agreed to promote the entrance of foreign companies and improve systems related to taxes, wages and insurance. However, when the complex will actually reopen wasn’t stated in the agreement. The Koreas agreed to form a committee to implement the terms of the agreement in a timely manner. Kim Ki-woong, the chief South Korean delegate, and Park Cheol-su, the chief North Korean delegate, signed the final document.

The Ministry of Unification said the agreement is a significant step to guarantee the stability of the Kaesong Industrial Complex using a combined strategy. Businesses within the complex will now be able to secure guarantees via official written agreement, be able to rely on the new permanent inter-Korean committee for structural assurances, and benefit from the stability that will come from the participation of international organizations.

Comments from Naver:


North Korea’s tantrums ended up getting them nothing but humiliation. Democratic United Party(DUP), that’s how you deal with North Korea! I guarantee you North Korea will not make lame threats again, ke.


This is a triumph of diplomacy based on solid principles…^^ I hope the inter-Korean relationship develops to meet international standards, haha.


I’m honestly worried about whether North Korea will honor the agreement, seeing as how they have a history of ignoring formal agreements without hesitation.


Yes, be docile like that from now on. No more tantrums unless you wanna get hungry.


Good job anyways. Please come up with follow-up measures to prevent another tantrum.


DUP and Unified Progressive Party, are you watching this?!


What if President Roh or Sinner Moon Jae-in was in charge;;…? Ke ke ke. They would have given out about 300~400 million dollars to young Jong-un and bowed to him… Time to rethink your strategy, DUP bastards.


The Park administration’s governance based on principles played an effective role in reopening the Kaesong Industrial Complex. That is worth several hundred billion won. The current government is doing a good job regarding the policy dealing with North Korea.


Big Sister Geun-hye is doing very well… Was there any better agreement than this in our history… Hey lefty commies, are you watching this?…


Well done but it’s not as if they haven’t signed agreements before. If they unilaterally cancel the agreement, that is it… It should definitely become an international matter. If there are many countries involved in it, it will be harder for them to do whatever they want.. They can’t ignore the amount of foreign currency they earn through the complex.. Are you watching this, North Korean puppet army? This is the only way for you to live… Let’s keep it up..


It’s fortunate that it has all worked out so well! Kaesong business owners, you can’t find a skilled workforce who will work for ₩120,000 a month elsewhere! Think of that profit! However, North Korea is a special country that imposes high risks! Think carefully about your investment and take responsibility for your losses if trouble happens again! Don’t ask for help from our tax money! High risk and high profit investment is your own responsibility.


1. Guarantee of stable operation of the industrial complex
2. Guarantee of personal security and business property
3. Guarantee of business activities that meet international standards
3-1. Promoting the entrance of foreign companies
3-2. Holding presentation meetings for foreign investors
4. Installing the inter-Korean committee to implement the agreements
5. Consolidating institutional devices
North Korea has agreed on these points but will they honor their agreement? I’m still dubious because they have been quick to change their mind and make excuses. Do not be hasty just to reopen the complex. You need to make clear what the repercussions will be for North Korea if they violate the agreement. In case they do another nuke test, launch missiles, etc.


They nullified the truce agreement on a whim. Will this half-hearted promise last??

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