Politics

North Korea Pulling Workers From Factory It Runs With South Korea

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North Korea is so upset with the United States and South Korea that it is willing to hurt its own economy in order to show it.

On Monday, the volatile nation announced that it will stop operations at a facility that it runs in conjunction with South Korea. More than 53,000 workers will now stop working at the Kaesong industrial complex as a result of the decision.

The announcement regarding Kaesong came from Kim Yang Gon, secretary of a key decision-making body, the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea. He told the Korean Central News Agency:

"The zone is now in the grip of a serious crisis. It has been reduced to a theater of confrontation with fellow countrymen and military provocation, quite contrary to its original nature and mission."

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He added:

"It is a tragedy that the industrial zone which should serve purposes of national reconciliation, unity, peace and reunification has been reduced to a theater of confrontation between compatriots and war against the North.”

North Korea’s decision comes after weeks of threats and rhetoric targeting the U.S. and South Korea. The United Nations handed down sanctions to North Korea after it conducted its third nuclear test back in February. Many have speculated that the North will conduct some sort of nuclear test in the near future, but it is uncertain whether that will actually happen, as noted by the Huffington Post.

South Korea's finance minister, Hyun Oh-seok, is not very pleased with the decision. He said on Monday that it is "quite ridiculous" for North Korea to be stopping work at the jointly run factory in Kaesong. "North Korea has nothing to gain from these kind of things," he said.

It is uncertain whether North Korean workers will come in on Tuesday. According to a South Korean worker who did not want to be identified, "Everyone left work (for their living quarters at Kaesong) before we heard the news from North Korea.”

Sources: Huffington Post, NPR