S. Korea regrets DPRK's lukewarm response to dialogue offer on Kaesong complex

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South Korea's Unification Ministry in charge of inter-Korean affairs expressed regrets on Monday over the Democratic People's Republic of Korea's (DPRK) silence toward Seoul's dialogue offer on the Kaesong industrial complex.

"We express strong regrets over North Korea's (DPRK) no response to our government's proposal. It is doubtful whether (the DPRK) has a willingness to advance the Kaesong industrial complex as agreed between the two Koreas," Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said.

The DPRK's unilateral decision to alter rules on workers in Kaesong violated an inter-Korean agreement, under which the two Koreas agreed to jointly manage the factory park in the DPRK's border city of Kaesong, he said.

Seoul can never accept Pyongyang's unilateral decision to raise wages for DPRK workers without negotiations, the spokesman said.

He urged the DPRK to come to the dialogue table to resolve the wage issue based on inter-Korean agreements, saying the South Korean government will take all necessary measures to achieve the constructive development of the complex and protect the interests of South Korean companies there.

The comments came after South Korea offered to hold talks on March 13, a proposal the DPRK has kept mum about.

On Feb. 24, the DPRK notified South Korea of its decision to raise the minimum wage for DPRK workers employed by South Koran companies at the Kaesong industrial zone.

The minimum wage will grow from 70.35 U.S. dollars to 74 U.S. dollars. Monthly wage for DPRK workers in Kaesong is expected to average 164.1 U.S. dollars, up 5.53 percent from 155.5 U.S. dollars. Endi

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