Two Koreas resume talks amid low expectations
SOUTH KOREA: North and South Korea resumed talks Thursday on the
future of their last major remaining joint venture, but hopes of
progress were low amid tensions and Pyongyang's detention of a manager
from the South.
The talks started at 10.40 am (0140 GMT) at the Seoul-funded
industrial estate in Kaesong City just north of the border, the South's
Unification Ministry said. "We will do our best to return home with good
results," chief Seoul delegate Kim Young-Tak said before crossing the
heavily fortified frontier.
"We expect to hold in-depth talks on the detention issue and problems
Government officials from the two sides met in April for the first
time in more than a year. But the talks broke down after 22 minutes,
with the North demanding pay rises for its workers and refusing to
discuss the detainee. Workers are currently paid around 75 dollars a
month including insurance. The money goes to the North's state agencies,
which return a portion to workers.
Last month Pyongyang announced it had scrapped wage and rent
agreements at the estate.
SEOUL, Thursday, AFP