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ROK-DPRK end talks without agreement

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-07-22 17:51

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea ended the fifth round of working-level talks on reopening the Kaesong industrial zone without reaching agreement on Monday, according to local broadcaster YTN.

Three-member delegations from both sides closed the talks at 6: 05 pm local time after holding two plenary sessions and one top-delegate dialogue in the zone.

During the plenary sessions, Seoul proposed a draft agreement providing for a clear assurance to prevent recurrence of unilateral shutdown of the joint industrial park.

Pyongyang made a counterproposal, but the two sides failed once again to reach any agreement on normalizing the operation of the joint industrial zone in DPRK's border town of Kaesong.

Earlier this month, Seoul and Pyongyang agreed in principle to normalize operations of the joint industrial park, but they have been at odds over how to reopen the complex in the follow-up talks while South Korean companies with factories in the park have been carrying back finished products, material and equipment.

Seoul has called on Pyongyang to provide a clear assurance to prevent recurrence of unilateral shutdown of the complex, and turn it into an international industrial park by allowing foreign companies to invest there.

Pyongyang urged Seoul to reopen the joint industrial zone after finishing the maintenance work without agreeing to take legal and institutional measures for recurrence prevention.

The Kaesong industrial zone, where 123 South Korean companies run factories, has been suspended since Pyongyang pulled out around 53,000 of its workers from the park in early April in protest against the joint annual military drill between Seoul and Washington.

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