North Korea kicks out South Koreans for aid strings
South Korea said Thursday that it was “deeply regrettable” that North Korea had ordered South Korean officials to leave its territory, but that the South was undaunted.Perhaps the South Koreans have hit on a way to get the communist Norks to commit economic suicide. If China and the rest of the donors to the beggar state join in requiring cooperation, the Kim regime will find itself very hungry.
The predawn expulsion on Thursday followed an announcement on Wednesday by the new South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, that his government would not expand economic cooperation with North Korea unless it cooperated in dismantling its nuclear weapons programs.
All 11 South Korean government officials who were 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 countries, returned to South Korea early Thursday after the North Korean authorities gave them three days to leave.
South Korea warned on Thursday that North Korea was worsening its own isolation by disrupting budding economic cooperation between the Koreas. That cooperation can be seen in the industrial complex in Kaesong, where 69 South Korean companies employ 23,000 North Koreans to produce shoes, clothing, watches and other goods.