kaesong industrial complex

US Welcomes Plan to Reopen Korean Industrial Site

But North and South Korean governments fail to set an exact date for the restart.

WASHINGTON - The United States on Wednesday welcomed plans to reopen a Korean industrial complex that was shut down in April after soaring tensions on the divided peninsula.

"We...have long supported improved inter-Korean relations and welcome news that the South Korean and North Korean governments have agreed to reopen the Kaesong industrial complex," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

North and South Korea agreed to reopen the complex -- a rare symbol of reconciliation -- and vowed to prevent a closure in the future.

But the two sides failed to set an exact date for the reopening.

The United States has urged North Korea to repair relations with the U.S.-allied South before any resumption of dialogue.

But Washington has warned that the bar for new talks is higher after this year's crisis, in which North Korea carried out its third nuclear test and threatened to strike the United States.

Robert King, the U.S. envoy handling human rights in North Korea, plans to head to China, Japan and South Korea next week.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2013

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