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S Korea's ruling party chief to visit industrial park in DPRK

09-27-2011 17:09 BJT

SEOUL, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's ruling party leader Hong Joon-pyo will travel to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Friday and visit an industrial complex jointly managed by the two countries, local broadcaster YTN said Tuesday.

Hong's aides and the ruling Grand National Party did not offer details, but a potential visit by a conservative lawmaker is seen as part of Seoul's efforts to mend ties with Pyongyang.

One of the last-remaining symbols of inter-Korean peace, the industrial park in the border town of Kaesong houses some 120 South Korean firms that employ 44,000 DPRK workers.

The visit comes amid growing calls for better inter-Korean ties, as tension runs high on the Korean peninsula following two deadly border incidents last year.

President Lee Myung-bak, himself a hard-liner, recently appointed new unification minister Yu Woo-ik in place of the former minister often criticized for heavy-handed dealings with Seoul's northern neighbor.

In what was seen as another friendly gesture, Lee recently allowed rare civilian aid to the DPRK and approved a Pyongyang visit by South Korean religious leaders.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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