June 3 (UPI) -- South Korean business executives who had to abandon their assets at a factory park in North Korea are planning to visit the United States to meet with members of Congress.
The trip is to take place next week and the objective is to persuade U.S. lawmakers of the need to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex, South Korean news service EDaily reported Monday.
Chung Ki-sup, chairman of the companies that had to leave their operations behind in 2016, told reporters the group will travel to the United States from June 10 to 16. The itinerary includes stopovers in Washington and Los Angeles.
"It appears U.S. lawmakers do not understand the actual state of affairs at the Kaesong Industrial Complex," Chung said. "We intend to inform them of the significance of the complex and changes that have taken place in the last 15 years."
U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman, D.-Calif., is to host the business executives at a Kaesong briefing session on June 11.
The South Koreans could also hold discussions at the U.S. State Department and at think tanks, including the Stimson Center and the United States Institute of Peace.
Chung said his group is taking the initiative as Seoul continues to turn down applications for visits.
"Rather than passively believing in and waiting for the [South Korean] government to respond, we decided to visit the United States in order to do our best to reopen the industrial complex," Chung said.
Following the shutdown of the factory park North Korea has stressed self-reliance at its industrial plants.
Kim Jong Un recently provided field guidance at sites like the Kanggye Tractor General Factory, where Hyon Song Wol, the lead singer of the all-women's Moranbong Band, accompanied him.
Hyon may be appearing in place of Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, who had a high profile during U.S.-North Korea negotiations at the Hanoi summit.
Park Ji-won, a South Korean lawmaker with the ruling Democratic Party, said Monday Kim Yo Jong could be "lying low" and is likely not being punished because of her status as a member of the ruling family "Paektu bloodline."
Park made the remarks on a KBS radio show.