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No agreement at latest DPRK-ROK park talks

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-15 17:20

SEOUL -- The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) failed to reach an agreement over how to normalize operation of the Kaesong industrial complex, according to a Seoul official cited by Yonhap News Agency on Monday.

The third-round of working-level talks ended up without any agreement reached, said an official at the Ministry of Unification in charge of inter-Korean relations.

The third working talks were held at the joint industrial park in the DPRK's border town of Kaesong from 10:08 a.m. local time. Three-member delegations from both sides held two rounds of plenary sessions and two sessions of top-delegates dialogue.

The failure was widely expected as differences remained over how to normalize the joint industrial complex. The second round of talks failed last Wednesday due to such differences.

Seoul has called on Pyongyang to take responsibility for the damages to ROK's companies caused by its unilateral shutdown of the industrial park in April, and provide a clear assurance to prevent recurrence of such a scenario.

ROK has also demanded the Kaesong industrial zone being developed into an international factory park by allowing foreign companies to invest there.

Pyongyang has blamed Seoul for the suspension, saying that it mainly stemmed from the joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington. The DPRK urged ROK to rapidly reopen the industrial park after finishing the maintenance work.

The Kaesong industrial zone, where 123 companies from ROK run factories, has been suspended for more than three months after Pyongyang pulled out about 53,000 of its workers from reporting to work in protest against the joint annual military drill between ROK and the United States.

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