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S.Korea, DPRK start 5th talks on reopening Kaesong industrial zone


08:26, July 22, 2013

SEOUL, July 22 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Monday started the fifth round of working-level talks on reopening the Kaesong industrial complex.

Three-member delegations began the dialogue as of 10 a.m. local time as scheduled at the joint industrial zone in Kaesong, just north of the heavily armed border.

In the latest round of talks, Seoul and Pyongyang exchanged respective draft agreement on how to normalize the inter-Korean industrial park, but they eventually failed to narrow gaps once again over conditions for the factory park normalization.

The Kaesong industrial zone, where 123 South Korean companies run factories, has been suspended since early April when Pyongyang pulled out around 53,000 of its workers in protest against the joint annual military drill between Seoul and Washington. South Korea called on the DPRK to provide a clear assurance to prevent the recurrence of its unilateral shutdown, urging Pyongyang to include ways of constructively normalizing the joint industrial zone in the final agreement.

In response, the DPRK reiterated its call to rapidly reopen the industrial park after finishing the maintenance work. "We will do our best to draw a conclusion that our whole nation can be persuaded," Kim Kiwoong, Seoul's chief delegate and director- general of the Unification Ministry's inter-Korean district support directorate, told reporters before heading to Kaesong.

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