Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kaesong closes: North bans S Korea entry to industrial zone

North Korea has banned the entry of South Koreans to a joint industrial complex in a rare move amid high tensions on the Korean peninsula, the South's Unification Ministry said.

Wednesday's move sparked fears the North could carry out its threatened shutdown of the complex as part of a standoff with Washington and Seoul.

"The North this morning notified us that it will only allow returning trips from Kaesong and will ban trips to the complex," Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk told reporters.

Kim said the North had not specified how long the ban would remain in effect.

The ministry said 861 South Korean workers are in the industrial complex while 179 workers await entry.