Thursday, December 22, 2005

Donga outlines the problems of Kaesong

[photo: Thanks go the North-South Joint Industrial Complex, Kaesŏng leads the nation in dug-up dirt and stacked slabs of concrete.]

The Donga Ilbo has a decent piece talking about the problems facing the prospects of the Kaesŏng (yeah, that's how it should be spelled, not Gaeseong. Kaesong, without the funky ŏ, is also acceptable).

Unification Minister Chung Dong-young would like to see it succeed, some of his opponents would like to see it fail just for that reason. Some Korean politicos see it as a chance to foster ties with the North to offset Pyongyang's lingering military threat and Beijing's possible designs on annexing "Inner Chosŏn," a la Inner Mongolia. South Korean businesses see it as a chance to compete with China with their own source of cheap labor.

[photo: At the 2003 groundbreaking of the industrial complex, the pretty colored smoke led some to suggest that an early reunification and a delayed move of Yongsan Garrison south to Pyongtaek would make this the site of a future US military base.]

But the places is fraught with problems, including North Korean laborers just not used to the demands of working for capitalists. 100,000 workers by next year? It may be a pipe dream.

Plus, can North Korea really afford to have that many of its people tainted by exposure to South Koreans (however few of them there are in Kaesŏng) on a daily basis?


  1. Too bad it's not going so well. I would love to see Gaeseong open up more.

  2. Yeah, me too, but SK business men should be careful treating the labors there, not because they are in the communitist regim, but because we communicate in the same language, yet different ways of thinking, however.

  3. Remember GumKang mountain trip? The same thing. These companies at Kaesong will be in the same shoes as Hundai tourism co. Powerless and broke!

    Baduk, you've spoken too soon.


Share your thoughts, but please be kind and respectful. My mom reads this blog.