SEOUL, July 16 (UPI) -- The number of South Korean employees at a joint factory complex with North Korea will be allowed to increase from 500 to 600, the government said Friday.
Lee Jong-joo, a spokeswoman for the ministry overseeing reconciliation with North Korea, said the adjustment was being made at Kaesong because South Korean companies have had difficulty maintaining operations there. The government reduced the number of South Koreans from about 1,000 as a penalty for North Korea's alleged sinking of a South Korean naval vessel in March.
About 44,000 North Koreans work at Kaesong. The complex, which opened in 2004, is one of the few remaining efforts to build a working relationship between the two Koreas.
Lee said the increase in the number of South Koreans there does not mean the government is relaxing its stance on North Korea.