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. Global computer outage grounds British flights

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports Saturday as a global IT failure caused severe disruption for travelers on a busy holiday weekend.

    British Airways planes are parked at Heathrow Airport in January. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)
  2. Road rage incident leaves uninvolved man, 52, with critical injuries in Pinellas Park

    Accidents

    PINELLAS PARK — A 52-year-old man was critically injured after an apparent road rage incident that shut down the area of a U.S. 19 overpass for nearly six hours on Friday, police said.

    Pinellas Park police say a man has critical injuries after a truck involved in a road rage incident slammed into him after he cut off another vehicle. (Pinellas Park Police Department)
  3. Britain lowers terror threat level to 'severe' as more arrested

    World

    MANCHESTER, England — Britain reduced its terrorism threat level a notch, from "critical" to "severe," as authorities said major progress has been made in unravelling the plot behind the Manchester bombing. More arrests are expected.

    An army bomb disposal team works with members of the police in the Moss Side area of Manchester, England, on Saturday. British police say they are evacuating residents around a house being searched in connection with the Manchester concert bombing. Police are searching a number of properties and have 11 suspects in custody in connection with Monday's explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, which killed more than 20 people and injured dozens. (Jonathan Brady/PA via AP)
  4. Miami pollster Sergio Bendixen dies

    Blogs

    Sergio Bendixen, the first Hispanic to run a U.S. presidential campaign who later pioneered public-opinion polling among Latinos and other immigrant populations, died late Friday in Miami. He was 68.

    Sergio Bendixen.
  5. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).