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N. Korea announces plans for industrial park built with foreign firms

PYONGYANG, North Korea, Oct. 18 (UPI) —

The North Korean government has announced plans for a new industrial zone on the South Korean border to be built with foreign companies.

The Yonhap news agency in South Korea said Friday the announcement was made by North Korea’s state-controlled news agency. Korea Central News Agency said the North’s partners include Jurong Consultants and OKP Holdings of Singapore and P and T Architects and Engineers of Hong Kong.

"The consortium agreed with the DPRK’s related organs on collaboration in building the Kaesong Hi-Tech Industrial Park and Highway Toll Road from Capital Airport to Pyongyang City," KCNA said, using North Korea’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

North Korea introduced a law in May that would allow special economic zones across the country where foreign firms would get preferred treatment. North Korea also recently allowed its workers to resume operations at the Kaesong industrial park, operated jointly with South Korea.

"Considering Kaesong’s geographical location, it appears that North Korea is trying to attract South Korea’s advanced technology with the expectation that inter-Korean ties will improve in the long term," said Lim Eul-chul of Kyungnam University in Changwon.

North Korea tries to maintain secrecy about its economy and the standard of living of its people. But both suffered after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the resulting loss of economic support.

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