PYONGYANG, North Korea, July 24 (UPI) -- North and South Korea met for the sixth time Thursday to agree on conditions to resume operations at their idled Kaesong factory complex.
Having failed to reach agreement during the previous five rounds, the two sides met again in the same North Korean border city of Kaesong, where the complex is located.
The 10-year-old Kaesong facility, the only economic link between the two Koreas, with 123 South Korean firms participating, was shuttered in early April amid mounting tensions between the two countries. The North, an impoverished isolated Communist country, unilaterally pulled its 53,000 workers and banned the entry of South Korean representatives and supplies into the complex.
From the start of the current round of talks, each side has blamed the other for the idling of the facility, South Korea's Yonhap News reported. South Korean estimates say the factories and companies may have so far suffered losses of over $939 million.
South Korea has been insisting that the North agree on measures which will prevent it from again disrupting the operations in the future. North Korea, however, wants the operations to resume immediately before committing to the safety condition demands.
Yonhap quoted South Korea's Ministry of Unification, which handles cross-border relations, that some progress has been made on "internationalizing" the Kaesong park by allowing non-South Korean companies to set up factories there.
"Seoul is committed to reopening the complex yet it stands resolute on securing a guarantee that will prevent the North from unilaterally closing the complex and to get Pyongyang to accept responsibility for the current situation," Yonhap quoted an official source as saying.