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Tuesday 12.12.2017 | Name days: Otīlija, Iveta

N-Korea blocks South workers from Kaesong industrial zone

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North Korea has come up with yet another move escalating tension, this time the reclusive state is blocking the entry of South Korean workers into a joint industrial zone, according to Seoul’s Unification Ministry.

The Kaesong zone, which is a money-maker for the North, is seen as a key barometer of inter-Korean relations. The joint industrial park is home to more than 100 factories. More than 50,000 North Koreans work there, as well as several hundred South Korean managers who request permission on a daily basis to cross into the zone, reports BBC.

“South Korea’s government deeply regrets the entry ban and urges it be lifted immediately,” says Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-seok.

This is considered as yet another provocation from the part of North Korea, whose latest activities have been branded as “dangerous” and “reckless” by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“Let me be perfectly clear here today. The United States will defend and protect ourselves and our treaty ally, the Republic of Korea (South Korea),” he said late on Tuesday.

As reported, North Korea “crisis has gone too far”, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said after Pyongyang announced plans to restart its main Yongbyon nuclear complex.

“Things must begin to calm down, there is no need for the DPRK [North Korea] to be on a collision course with the international community. Nuclear threats are not a game,” he said.

South Korean foreign ministry spokesman said earlier that the North Korean move is “highly regrettable”.

Meanwhile, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei called for restraint from all sides to resolve the “complex and sensitive” situation. South Korea’s foreign ministry described Pyongyang’s announcement as “very regrettable”. Seoul and the US had warned of a “swift and strong response” to any military provocation, BBC reported.

North Korea said on Saturday that it was entering a “state of war” with South Korea.

North Korea says its strategic rocket and long-range artillery units have been ordered to enter combat mode targeting US military bases on Guam, Hawaii and mainland America after US bombers flew more sorties threatening the country, The Telegraph wrote.

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