Hopes of restarting operations at the complex in the North Korean border town of Kaesong, the only economic link between the two Koreas, have risen after the two countries last week reached agreement after several rounds of intense negotiations, Yonhap News reported Friday.
About 200 people from South Korean electronics and machinery firms owning plants at Kaesong joined by 58 government officials visited the site for inspection.
The businessmen told reporters the plants had deteriorated due the length of time they have remained idle, but that the damage is not severe, Yonhap said. They said the plants may be able to go into partial operation any time after repairs.
The 10-year-old Kaesong industrial complex, with 123 South Korean firms participating, was shuttered in early April after North Korea pulled its 53,000 workers and banned the entry of South Korean representatives and supplies into the complex. The closure of the facility came at the height of tensions between the two Koreas.
During subsequent negotiations between the two countries, each side blamed the other for the idling of the facility. South Korea has estimated the factories and companies at the complex sustained losses of more than $900 million.
Yonhap said under the new agreement, the North pledged to never again close down the industrial park under any circumstances.
"I feel much better now," one company official told Yonhap.
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