Jan. 7 (UPI) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in did not rule out the use of North Korea's state-sanctioned workers in the South while answering a question from a South Korean business executive on Monday.
In a conversation hosted at the presidential Blue House in the afternoon, Moon said North Korean workers hold significant economic potential for the South, Yonhap reported.
"If a high-quality workforce from North Korea can be employed in [the South's] small to medium-sized businesses, there will be great synergy," Moon said, according to Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.
Moon made the remarks in response to a question from Park Sung-taek, chairman of the Korea Federation of Small and Medium Business.
The South Korean leader also said it is "worth welcoming" Kim Jong Un's message on the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Mount Kumgang tours.
Kim had expressed a willingness to resume the two projects. Moon said Monday the issue of international sanctions should be resolved first, however, before these issues are discussed with the North.
"If North-South cooperation is realized, the paradigm should also change as much," Moon said Monday. "Many small and medium-sized enterprises should make advances, and I will do my best to realize such progress."
Park expressed concerns of a labor shortage in 2020, when by law foreign workers will be required to work shorter hours.
In such a scenario, 200,000 more workers would be needed, Park said.
"If 500,000 North Korean laborers work together [with us], it would greatly help small to medium-sized businesses, because we share the same language and high quality skilled labor."
The views are being shared in Seoul at a time when U.S. President Donald Trump prepares to meet again with Kim.
Trump said Sunday the White House is "negotiating a location" and that it will "be announced probably in the not too distant future."
South Korean newspaper Segye Ilbo reported Monday possible summit locations include Hawaii, Vietnam, Mongolia and the Korean demilitarized zone.