North and South Korea have finally reached an agreement to reopen factories at their jointly operated industrial park in the Kaesong border area.

The five-point agreement was reached on Wednesday after seven rounds of talks and ahead of a joint military drill by South Korea and the United States.

Both Koreas have committed to making “active efforts” to resume normal operations as soon as possible after inspecting the shuttered plants in Kaesong.

“The South and the North will prevent the current suspension of the Kaesong industrial complex caused by the workers’ withdrawal from being repeated again,” the agreement said.
The park lies ten kilometers inside North Korea and has 53,000 workers. Kaesong is a main source of income for Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, senior officials in Pyongyang warned the new military exercise later this month could push the divided peninsula to the brink of war.

A similar joint maneuver earlier this year prompted North Korea to shut down the Kaesong industrial complex.

Tensions began to soar after the US flew its nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers over the peninsula during annual US-South Korea military drills in April. Pyongyang, in response, threatened to attack the US mainland with nuclear weapons and to enter a war with the South.

In March, North Korea warned that if Washington and Seoul launched a preemptive attack, the conflict “will not be limited to a local war, but develop into an all-out war, a nuclear war.”

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