North Korea has seized the Kaesong Industrial Complex, declared it a military zone, expelled South Koreans who work there, and called Seoul’s suspension of operations at the complex a “dangerous declaration of war.”
“The frozen equipment, materials and products will be managed by the committee of Gaeseong people,” said a statement from the North’s Committee for Peaceful Unification of the Fatherland. “From 10 p.m. on Feb. 11, (the North) will seal off the industrial park and nearby military demarcation line, shut the western overland route and declare the park as a military off-limit zone.”
The North also ordered 248 South Koreans at the complex to leave the country by 5 p.m. Thursday with their personal belongings, adding it would cut all lines of communication with the South, and the cross-border highway that connects the two countries. The AP reported some South Koreans were still at the complex past that deadline and had been told to await instructions from Seoul. The Korea Herald reported that trucks from South Korea returned home with workers and equipment.
“I feel bitter when I think about the possibility that I might lose my job due to the suspension of the factory operations,” Yun Sang-eun, a worker who drove a 22-ton truck back to the South with factory products from Gaeseong, told the newspaper.