Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

N. Korea sends S. Korea officials home

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea expelled all South Korean government officials stationed on its territory on Thursday, reacting to a hardening in the South's policy toward it over its lack of cooperation on its nuclear program.

All 11 South Korean government officials, who are based in a jointly operated factory complex in Kaesong, a small town 37 miles from Seoul on the north side of the border between the two countries, returned to South Korea early Thursday after the North Korean authorities gave them three days to leave.

The expulsion was the North's first reaction to the new policy of President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea, who said Wednesday that his government would not expand economic cooperation with the North unless it cooperated in dismantling its nuclear weapons programs.

South Korea said it was "undaunted" by the North's "deeply regrettable" move to expel the officials. It warned that North Korea was worsening its own isolation by disrupting budding economic cooperation between the two Koreas, symbolized by the industrial complex in Kaesong where 69 South Korean companies employ 23,000 North Koreans to produce shoes, clothing, watches and other goods.

"We will deal with this issue in a pragmatic way," said Lee's spokesman, Lee Dong-kwan. He said the response would mix "flexibility" and "stern principle," without elaborating further.

The expulsion did not immediately affect the presence of hundreds of South Korean civilians in Kaesong or the operations of their plants. Nor did it stop the daily cross-border traffic of South Korean factory managers commuting from Seoul or of tourists visiting the North Korean town.

The dispute arose at the same time that the South joined the United States in applying direct pressure on North Korea to come clean on its nuclear activities.

The North's surprise move to expel the officials provoked debate among the rival political parties in South Korea over the effectiveness of Lee's new approach to the North. The parties are preparing for parliamentary elections on April 9.

N. Korea sends S. Korea officials home 03/27/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 3, 2010 10:50am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Woman dead in St. Petersburg shooting

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG

    Woman fatally shot Saturday night

    A 31-year-old woman was shot and killed Saturday night, police said.

  2. Jones: Rather than criticizing anthem protests, we should be asking about the reasons for them

    Bucs

    MINNEAPOLIS — They are football players. They are teammates. They are Tampa Bay Bucs.

    Bucs wide receivers Mike Evans (13) and DeSean Jackson (11) kneel during the national anthem. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  3. Here kitty, kitty ...

    Blogs

    In a toned down version of the annual rookie dress-up day based on MLB's new anti-hazing policy, Rays rookie players and staff - plus second-year LHP Blake Snell - donned DJ Kitty onesies for the trip to New York.

    Rays rookie players and staff - joined here by Alex Colome - sporting their DJ Kitty onesies before the flight to New York.
  4. Pasco residents affected by Irma invited to town hall meeting

    Local Government

    NEW PORT RICHEY — Representatives from Pasco County Emergency Management and the Federal Emergency Management Agency will play host to a town hall-style meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday in the first-floor boardroom of the West Pasco Government Center, 8731 Citizens Drive, New Port Richey

    Sandra Cunningham assesses the damage a water oak did to her Church Avenue home when it crashed into her bedroom roof during Hurricane Irma.
  5. Lightning's Nikita Kucherov has a lot to say — about moving on to a much better season

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Nikita Kucherov sits back in his stall and smiles.

    Laughs a little, too.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov (86) prepares for a faceoff during the first period of Friday's  (9/22/17) preseason game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Nashville Predators at Amalie Arena in Tampa.