May 11 (UPI) -- South Korean business executives with connections to a shuttered factory park in North Korea are demanding answers from Seoul's Constitutional Court.
Members of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex Emergency Response Committee said Monday they have yet to receive a response on a constitutional petition regarding the closure of Kaesong, a jointly operated manufacturing base that shut down in 2016, Seoul Pyongyang News and Tongil News reported Monday.
During a press briefing held outside the Constitutional Court, the group said four years have passed since they filed the petition, or appeal, on May 9, 2016.
"With the full suspension of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, our businesses have been struggling day after day," the Committee said. "Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court has not proceeded with our appeal for four years."
The South Korean group has argued the abrupt closure of Kaesong on Feb. 10, 2016, was unconstitutional. On Monday the group said a policy innovation committee under the unification ministry had ruled in December 2017 the shutdown did not comply with the nation's constitution and the law.
"Whatever the reason for the delay in proceedings, there will be no reason to turn away from entrepreneurs and workers who have been deprived of property rights and their rights to livelihood due to unfair measures taken by the state," the group said.
"Delaying justice would be killing us twice."
The committee also blamed former President Park Geun-hye and ex-Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo for the decision. Park, who was impeached in 2017, had said the decision to close Kaesong was made to comply with international sanctions resolutions.
During his presidential campaign, President Moon Jae-in had promised to reopen Kaesong. Resuming operations could violate United Nations Security Council embargoes, however. North Korea has previously tested several nuclear bombs.
Kim Seo-jin, the managing director of the Corporate Association of Kaesong Industrial Complex, said more than 10 percent of South Korean Kaesong businesses have temporarily closed or permanently shuttered in the past four years. Some of the companies have declared bankruptcy, Kim said.