North Korea has announced the withdrawal of its 53,000 workers and the suspension of operations at Kaesong, amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula.North Korea has rejected an offer by South Korea to hold dialogue over the issue of Kaesong joint industrial complex. On April 11, South Korea called for Pyongyang to “come to the dialogue table” over the Kaesong issue. However, Pyongyang said the offer by South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae was a “meaningless and cunning” gesture. “We found the offer an empty, meaningless act,” a spokesman of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a recent interview with the state media KCNA. The official said there were two obstacles preventing the talks: South’s Korea ongoing joint military exercises with the United States, and calls for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear activities.
“If the South is genuine about having talks… it should first abandon the confrontational posture,” the North Korean spokesman stated.North Korea has announced the withdrawal of its 53,000 workers and the suspension of operations at Kaesong, amid escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang once again threatened to permanently close the joint industrial zone with South Korea on April 11. The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of escalating military rhetoric following the participation of nuclear-capable US B-52 and B-2 stealth bombers in recent joint military exercises with South Korea. Washington sent F-22 stealth aircraft to South Korea as part of its joint drills on March 31. Pyongyang has warned that if Washington and Seoul launch a preemptive attack, the conflict “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.” MSH/HSN