The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

March 27, 2013

North Korea says it has cut last military hotline

(Continued)

Seoul's Unification Ministry, which is in charge of relations with the North, called the move an "unhelpful measure for the safe operation of the Kaesong complex."

The Unification Ministry said only three telephone hotlines remain between the North and South, and those are used only for exchanging information about air traffic.

South Korean officials said about 750 South Koreans were in Kaesong on Wednesday, and that the two Koreas had normal communications earlier in the day over the hotline when South Korean workers traveled back and forth to the factory park as scheduled.

Workers at Kaesong could also be contacted directly by phone from South Korea on Wednesday.

A South Korean worker for Pyxis, a company that produces jewelry cases at Kaesong, said in a phone interview that he was worried about a possible delay in production if cross-border travel is banned again.

"That would make it hard for us to bring in materials and ship out new products," said the worker, who wouldn't provide his name because of company rules.

The worker, who has been in Kaesong since Monday, said he wasn't scared.

"It's all right. I've worked and lived with tension here for eight years now. I'm used to it," he said.

Kaesong is operated in North Korea with South Korean money and know-how and a mostly North Korean work force. It provides badly needed hard currency in North Korea, where many face food shortages.

Other examples of joint inter-Korean cooperation have come and gone. The recently ended five-year tenure of hard-line South Korean President Lee Myung-bak saw North-South relations plunge. Lee ended an essentially no-strings-attached aid policy to the North.

North Korea last cut the Kaesong line in 2009, in a protest of that year's South Korean-U.S. military drills. North Korea refused several times to let South Korean workers commute to and from their jobs, leaving hundreds stranded in North Korea. The country restored the hotline and reopened the border crossing more than a week later, after the drills were over.

Text Only
State and Nation
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee