North Korea is blocking South Korean workers from entering jointly operated Kaesong Complex factories in the neutral zone.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, North Korea declared a state of war against South Korea last week. North Korea’s official statement also promised nuclear war against the United States. Today, the announcement of increasing the North Korea nuclear weapons stockpile coincided with news of the North Korea nuclear reactor being restarted in Yongbyon, which would allow the Kim Jong-Un regime to continue making plutonium.
F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets were sent to South Korea as part of ongoing military exercises with South Korea that occur every year. These F-22 stealth fighters in Korea would join the B-52 bombers and B-2 stealth bombers that were already sent to South Korea. The USS Fitzgerald, a destroyer capable of intercepting missiles, was also originally thought to be deployed up the coast line of North Korea, but it turns out the radar-equipped destroyer USS John S. McCain will be going instead. Even the Anonymous hacker group attacked North Korea, stealing 15,000 passwords and shutting down multiple state-run websites.
Moon Chung-in, a professor at Yonsei University in Seoul, says the action of North Korea blocking South Korea from the factories is the first instance of North Korea taking action and not just promising retaliation:
“I think it has something to do with comments by Western and South Korean observers who say that North Korea wouldn’t give up the Kaesong Complex no matter what, that North Korea needs the business too much. They took that as kind of insulting to their leadership.”
The Kaesong Complex factories are located six miles into North Korea, just north of the demilitarized zone. About 120 South Korean companies employ the cheaper labor of an estimated 53,000 North Koreans in the factories. The Kaesong Complex produced about $470 million last year, with $80 million going to North Korea.
The last time South Korea was denied access to the Kaesong Complex factories was in 2009, after North Korea’s second nuclear test. Fortunately, the South Koreans already in the Kaesong Complex were allowed to leave.
South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-Jin said, “We should stop this from going into the worst-case scenario. But in case of crisis, we consider all options, including military actions”. Still, other experts says they don’t see North Korea “destroying the project but rather as a way to threaten and put pressure on the South Korean government.”
What do you think about the North Korea factories being closed to South Korea?