Seoul's foreign ministry, including Foreign Minister Ban Kimoon, will take US Ambassador to Korea Alexander Vershbow and about eighty other diplomats on an unprecedented trip to North Korea's Kaesong industrial complex to give them a first-hand view of what South Korea sees as a model of economic integration between the two Koreas.
The Foreign Ministry said this:
We hope this trip will contribute to enhancing and expanding international society's understanding of the Kaesong Industrial Park.South Korea is also trying to get the US to allow Kaesong-manufactured goods accepted as "Made in Korea" as part of a new FTA.
According to the ROK constitution, Kaesong is a part of the Republic of Korea (as is all of Korea), but Seoul has got to know that such an agreement wouldn't fly in the Republican-controlled US Senate. The Bush administration presently sees the industrial park as helping to prop up Pyongyang (unlike the Bush administration's massive economic ties with Beijing, Pyongyang's primary sponsor) by providing it with funds and hard currency.
My guess is that the Kaesong is a bargaining chip for Seoul, and a potentially valuable one at that.
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