April 8, 2013
North Korea said Monday it was withdrawing all workers and suspending operations at its joint industrial zone with South Korea — the only surviving symbol of inter-Korean cooperation.
The announcement came amid reports of heightened activity at the North’s nuclear test site, although the South Korean Defence Ministry denied suggestions that a fourth nuclear test was imminent.
North Korea “will withdraw all its employees from the zone”, Kim Yang-Gon, a senior ruling party official, said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.
At the same time, Pyongyang “will temporarily suspend the operations in the zone and examine the issue of whether it will allow its existence or close it”, Kim added.