| Kim Yang Gon, director of North Korea뭩 United Front Department and the person in charge of dealing with the South, told Park Sang-kwon, president of Pyeonghwa Motors who recently visited North Korea, "I had no intention of closing the Kaesong Industrial Complex, but it ultimately suspended operation due to military authorities." It is a wonder why he said so after appearing in the complex in April and announced withdrawal of all North Korean workers there and temporary suspension of the complex. Some say that North Korea could assume a forward-looking stance on the resumption of the complex at the 7th working-level South-North meeting on Wednesday.
This is not the first time North Korea pointed to hardliners of military authorities when South-North relations turned sour and responsibility issue came up. In 2009 when the Kaesong complex passage was blocked and when the Gyeongeui railway and road connection project stagnated, North Korea blamed military authorities. However, even as the North is a "military-first" society, the Kaesong complex cannot be shut down without approval of its leader Kim Jong Un. The North appears to have made up the story to revive the Kaesong complex that is a "dollar box" and to soothe public sentiment in the South.
North Korea appears to be expressing its will to recover South-North relations by using the auto company CEO as messenger who has visited North Korea as U.S. citizen for 215 times and has made massive investments and economic cooperation projects with the North. Mentioning the demilitarized zone peace park that President Park Geun-hye is showing keen interest, the North said, "The Kaesong complex should be solved well for the peace park to be created well." This is a pressure on the South to agree on normalizing the complex at the incoming meeting. Kim Jong Un took a picture with Park to give him weight.
North Korean spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea on Wednesday last week said, "Resuming Kaesong Industrial Complex is a brave patriotic decision and a righteous choice." But the words do not guarantee sincerity. It is important to take responsibility for suspension of the complex and make written promise to prevent the complex being shut down again.
The South Korean government should, if the North agrees on the broad principle of guaranteeing prevention of reoccurrence, show flexibility. Former National Assembly Speaker Lee Man-seop appearing at Dong-A Ilbo cable TV Channel A said, "North Korea`s request to meet on Wednesday shows it accepts its mistake. This summit should not be broken." It is necessary to maintain market economy test bed to realize a trust process on the Korean Peninsula.
If Kim Yang Gon`s remarks through Park is true, it is better for Kim to announce his will by himself to resume Kaesong complex. If the seventh meeting results with final agreement between South and North on the resumption of Kaesong Industrial Complex and Reunification Minister Ryu Kil-jae and Kim signs it, the document will be more trustworthy.