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North, South Korea hold talks on future of industrial park


SEOUL, June 19 (RIA Novosti) - Officials from North and South Korea held a round of talks in Seoul on Friday on the future of the Kaesong industrial park to the north of the border, the last remaining cooperation venture between the countries.

The talks started early on Friday and lasted for around 90 minutes. Neither side has yet shown signs of compromise on several disputes, but the talks could be resumed later in the day, Yonhap news agency said.

The South Korean side demanded the release of a Hyundai Asan Corp. employee who has been held by the North since late March, while Pyongyang demanded a 3,000 % hike in rent for the site to keep operations.

South Korean Prime Minister Han Seung-soo told reporters on Friday: "Our door is always open to North Korea to engage in dialogue, to discuss topics of mutual concern and cooperation."

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak earlier called Pyongyang's wage hike demands "unacceptable."

More than 100 South Korean companies operate and 40,000 North Koreans are employed at the Kaesong complex, located about an hour's drive from Seoul.

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