North Korea reportedly resumes operation of inter-Korean industrial complex without Seoul's consent

South Korean Politicians Inspect Kaesong Industrial ParkIBTimes TV

North Korea has reportedly restarted some of the operation of the inter-Korean industrial complex in the border city of Kaesong without the consent of its rival neighbour, South Korea. The reclusive nation's media on Friday, 6 October, said the North was well within its sovereign rights to resume the factories running in the joint venture.

South Korea had shut down the Kaesong industrial zone in February 2016 due to the escalating tensions between the two Koreas. Revenue generated from the factories is key for impoverished Pyongyang and Seoul has accused the regime of pumping that money into nuclear programmes.

In the latest development, the North's media outlet Uriminzokkiri carried a report warning that other countries should not interfere in its affairs.

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"No matter how fiercely the U.S. and its cronies may attempt to intensify sanctions, they can never stop us moving forward and the plants in the industrial zone will churn out all the more actively," said the dispatch.

The North added the materials and products left by the South Korean companies at the industrial area will be seized and managed by the hermit kingdom. The Seoul-backed companies are estimated to have left behind about assets work 820 billion won ($663 million) in the industrial zone. South Korean authorities have not yet responded to the latest step.

"The dogs bark but the caravan goes on. No matter how desperately hostile forces may clamour, the plants in the Kaesong industrial zone will run all the more actively," added the report on the North Korean daily.

The industrial zone, inaugurated in 2004, housed more than 120 South Korean companies employing tens of thousands of North Korean workers. The complex served as a major reconciliation point in the sharply divided Korean peninsula and talks to restart the operations have ended in failure since the businesses were suspended.

Vehicles returning from the KIC wait in line on a road linked to North Korea towards the CIQ office near the DMZ in Paju, South Korea in this file photoChung Sung-Jun/ Getty Images

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