South Korea pulls remaining workers from North Korean industrial zone

Lee Jin-man/AP

South Korea is pulling its remaining factory workers from an industrial complex shared with North Korea, the country said Friday.

The remaining 175 workers at the Kaesong industrial complex were removed after North Korea already pulled all its 50,000 workers from the area in early April. The factory complex is in North Korea, in a border town between the two countries. About 120 South Korean companies are headquartered there. They were using mainly North Korean labour before escalating tensions between the two countries halted production.

“To protect our citizens, we have made an inevitable decision to bring all of them home,” Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told South Koreans in a nationally televised statement, reports The New York Times.

The decision to pull the remaining South Korea citizens was “inevitable” President Park Geun Hye told reporters. It came after North Korea didn’t meet a deadline, by noon on Friday, to restart talks about operations at the factory, reports Bloomberg.

Since removing its workers, North Korea has blocked access to the factory zone, and has only allowed South Korean workers to exit.

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