Das geteilte Land - KOREA
2013 Open Letter: The Recent Temporary Closure
Nord- und Südkorea, 2013
Open Letter to the Government of the DPRK
The Recent Temporary Closure of the Kaesong Industrial Complex
(11 April 2013, Seoul) The Kaesong Industrial Complex is currently under crisis. This is a crisis of the relationship between the North and South Korea and of reconciliation, peace and future of unification and prosperity at the same time.
On 8 April 2013, you decided to withdraw all your workers from the Kaesong Industrial Complex by the statement made by Mr. Kim Yang-gon, secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee. We express our deep concern on this matter because your decision is contrary to the will of most people in Korea hoping for development of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. As your statement points out, ‘the Kaesong Industrial Complex is a result of the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration and has contributed to reconciliation, unity, peace and unification of our people.’ When the relationship between two Koreas was deteriorating in the past, the Kaesong Industrial Complex came close to a closure, but it never actually closed down as it reflects the nation’s desire for the unification.
Likewise, the Kaesong Industrial Complex is a source of prosperity and unification, cherished by both North and South Korea. Therefore, it is hard to agree with your argument that main reason of the closure is the Kaesong Industrial Complex is now a source of the invasion of North Korea. It is a broad interpretation of some provocative views and most South Koreans do not agree with those minor views.
We would also like to point out that you could have shown at least some consideration and respect towards small business owners who have invested all their assets and worked very hard to develop the Kaesong Industrial Complex. As equal stakeholders, they have a right to discuss with you on such a crucial decision. In fact, these small business owners are symbols of reconciliation and cooperation against ‘battlefield Kaesong’ which makes your concern. The history of the Kaesong Industrial Complex in fact is rather a proof long constructed by these small business owners standing against confrontational views, that reconciliation and cooperation are possible.
Paradoxically however, we intend to understand that your current decision came out as an emphasis on the need of cooperation and dialogue, from the conditions of the closure in your statement. As you argue, the condition to make the Kaesong Industrial Complex as a spark of the invasion of North Korea can be immediately resolved by dialogue between two Koreas on normalization of the Kaesong Industrial Complex.
We believe in resilience of the trust built between business personnel from North and South Korea and their workers. Also, we believe that it is now time to start a dialogue. We urge you to start a dialogue with business people from South Korea first regarding the current situation of the Kaesong Industrial Complex. That small start will bring changes towards transforming crisis to opportunities.
We look forward to your favorable reply.
11 April 2013
Participants of the Joint Meeting of People of All Walks
for Peace and Cooperation in the Korean Peninsula