North Korea Withdraws Workers From the Gaeseong Industrial Complex

Photo Credit: 38 North[1]

 By: Garrett Redfield

In a sad turn of events, not only has North Korea continued to increase its rhetoric, but it finally acted on it. Today, North Korea has decided to pull its 54,000 workers from the Gaeseong Industrial Complex, the main symbolic site of joint North-South economic cooperation.

Although South Korean workers who are still at the site continue to work, supplies are running low which may expedite their departure to the South. Already some businesses at the Complex have closed due to a lack of supplies.

However, it should be stressed that South Korean workers at the Complex are still free to leave and are not hostages.

Newly appointed U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry is making his trip to South Korea fairly soon, after he concludes a visit to the Middle East  Although the order of overseas trips may seem inconsequential, symbolically it is fairly significant that East Asia was not a priority and is a disturbing message the Obama Administration is sending to East Asia despite its reassurances of support.


Garrett Redfield is a Master of International Affairs Candidate at the School of International Affairs at The Pennsylvania State University. As an adopted Korean American, he has a strong interest in Korean Peninsula affairs, and focuses on Korean Reunification. Garrett has lived in Korea for an extensive amount of time, mainly as a former ESL instructor. He is proficient in Korean.


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