Government Stance regarding the Gaeseong Industrial Complex
February 12, 2016
North Korea has pushed ahead with a series of extremely provocative acts, including a nuclear test and missile launch, to the detriment of the foundation of peace on the Korean Peninsula and in Northeast Asia as well as the survival of the Korean people. It has also declared that it will carry out additional tests and launches in the days to come.
If South Korea and the international community only repeat responses similar to those that have been employed so far, it would become a tall order to rectify the North's misguided actions and anticipate any positive changes.
Against this backdrop, the R.O.K. government made an inevitable decision to completely shut down the Gaeseong Industrial Complex(GIC) to ensure genuine peace on the Korean Peninsula and the future of the Korean people.
The decision was made after much deliberation in light of national security and public safety even though the numerous difficult problems we have to endure, including losses to companies operating in the Complex, were foreseen.
In dealing with the current situation, the government has taken measures placing top priority on the safety of our people. It is fortunate that all those who stayed in the Complex returned in a swift and safe manner yesterday.
Concerning this move, however, the North made preposterous criticisms yesterday, even using vulgar language, in a statement by its ‘Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland’ and shifted the responsibility to the South.
Moreover, the North gave the South Koreans a very short deadline to leave the Complex, did not allow them to take out the goods produced and illegally froze the valuable assets of our companies.
Furthermore, it took the extreme and unreasonable measure of completely severing all communication channels.
The government considers it deeply regrettable for the North to take such wrongful actions and clearly states that it will be fully responsible for any repercussions. We sternly warn that the valuable assets of our people should not be damaged.
The government has great sympathy for the heads of companies in the GIC and the workers who are suffering as a result of the shutdown. A joint government task force, which was launched yesterday, will do its best to promptly provide sufficient pan-governmental support. In particular, it will closely communicate with the tenant companies and make every effort to offer customized support that meets each company’s needs.
We are truly grateful to the tenant companies and their workers in the GIC as well as the public for their support and trust in our government in this difficult time.