From ProleWiki, the proletarian encyclopedia

Kaesong (Korean: 개성시; Hanja: 開城市) is a special city (Korean: 특별시; Hanja: 特別市) in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK). Kaesong was a former capital of the Koryo Dynasty (918–1392 CE), the first unified state of Korea, for several hundred years. It is located about 8km from the DMZ border with US-occupied south Korea. During the Korean War, Kaesong had been at first in the US-occupied zone, changing hands over the course of the war. As a result, it suffered far less bombing from the US side than other cities in the north, leaving many historic buildings intact. Twelve historic monuments and sites in Kaesong were inscribed to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2013.[1][2]

Kaesong Industrial Area[edit | edit source]

The Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC), located in the Kaesong Industrial Area (Korean: 개성공업지구) is an area that has been used for cooperative economic projects between north and south Korea. The first inter-Korean agreement on the construction of the KIC was signed in August 2000. The complex began construction in June 2003, and in December 2004, its first product was manufactured.

In 2013, the KIC was temporarily closed for six months, but in August of that year, the south and the north re-opened it and agreed to ensure normal operation of the KIC.[3]

By 2016, it housed 124 tenant companies with 55,000 north Korean workers and 80 business offices. However, in that year the south Korean government (under conservative President Park Geun-hye, who was later impeached and convicted on corruption charges) decided to suspend the complex as part of a pressure campaign against DPRK's nuclear development and missile tests. According to Dr. Jin-hyang Kim, the former head of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, the decision was made "without legal process" and based on rumors, including the "groundless statement" by the The Policy Innovation Committee of the south's Ministry of Unification that DPRK might possibly be diverting revenue from the KIC to weapons development projects.[3]

In 2020, DPRK demolished an inter-Korean joint liaison office building in the industrial area.[4]

After south Korea's conservative President Park, the somewhat more progressive liberal President Moon Jae-in was unable to deliver on his promise to reopen the KIC, as inter-Korean relations were further meddled with by U.S. demands for DPRK to abandon their nuclear development. South Korea's next President, Yoon Suk-yeol, a conservative who took office in 2022, has also expressed a denuclearization policy toward DPRK and not taken action toward resuming cooperation in the KIC.[4]

Panmunjom[edit | edit source]

Activist Noh Su-hui shouted "Long live national reunification, by our nation itself!" moments before stepping over the divide into south Korea and being tackled and carried away by south Korean authorities.

Panmunjom (Korean:판문점; Hanja: 板門店), the village where the armistice talks were held, is located 8 km southeast of the Kaesong city center.[1]

A left-wing south Korean activist, Roh Su-hui (Korean: 노수희; also spelled Ro Su Hui and Noh Su-hui), member of the Pan-National Alliance for Korea's Reunification (Korean: 조국통일범민족연합; abbreviated 범민련; "Pomminryon"), was arrested at Panmunjom in 2012. He had travelled to DPRK without approval from the southern regime, in order to attend a memorial service marking the 100th day since the death of Kim Jong-Il. At Panmunjom, he was waved farewell by a crowd of people from the northern side, who waved Korean unification flags and flowers. Officials of the DPRK accompanied him to Panmunjom to see him off. Among them were Choe Jin Su, chairman of the North Headquarters of Pomminryon, and officials of the North Headquarters of Pomminryon and the Pan-national Alliance of Youth and Students for Korea's Reunification and the North Side Committee for Implementing the June 15 Joint Declaration. Before stepping over the border, Roh shouted "Long live national reunification, by our nation itself!" (Korean: "우리민족끼리 조국통일 만세!") holding up a unification flag and flowers. After crossing the border, south Korean authorities seized him, and a struggle ensued where he was tackled to the ground, then lifted and carried away by the southern authorities, who bound his arms and hands with rope as they brought him into custody.[5][6][7] In February 2013, he was sentenced to four years in prison, and the Seoul Central District Court also ordered that his rights, such as suffrage, be stripped for three years after his release from prison. Another activist, Won Jin Wook, received a three-year prison sentence for communicating with DPRK officials to arrange Ro's trip.[8] In 2016, Roh was released from the Taegu Prison.[9]

External links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 “Kaesong City Guide, North Korea.” Korea Konsult AB - Adventures to Another World! Archived 2023-03-25.
  2. “Traveling to Kaesong and the DMZ.” Young Pioneer Tours. May 2019. Archived 2022-12-05.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Wyeth, Grant. “Time to Reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex? A Conversation with Jin-Hyang Kim.” The Diplomat. Thediplomat.com, 27 Feb. 2020. Accessed 6 Apr. 2023. Archived 2022-10-05.
  4. 4.0 4.1 “The Future of the Kaesong Industrial Complex and Liberal Peace on the Korean Peninsula.” Thediplomat.com, 11 Nov. 2022, Accessed 6 Apr. 2023. Archived 2022-12-01.
  5. AP Archive. “SKorean Activist No Su-Hui Arrested as He Returns from Unauthorised Trip to the North.” YouTube, 31 July 2015, Accessed 9 Apr. 2023. Archived 2023-03-28.
  6. “S. Korean Activist Arrested after Trip to N. Korea.” Bangkok Post. 5 July 2012, Accessed 9 Apr. 2023.
  7. “South Korean Activists Jailed for Visit to North.” South China Morning Post, 8 Feb. 2013, Accessed 9 Apr. 2023. Archived 2020-12-14.
  8. Phuong DPRK Daily. “Ro Su Hui, South Korean Activist for Reunification, Arrested for Unapproved Trip to the North (2012).” YouTube, Accessed 9 Apr. 2023.
  9. “International Committee for the Release of Mr Ro Su Hu.” Blogspot.com, 2023, Accessed 9 Apr. 2023. Archived 2023-04-09.