South Korea on Thursday said it is limiting entry to an industrial park in North Korea, jointly run by two Koreas in its first concrete action since Pyongyang said it had carried out a successful hydrogen bomb test.
The Unification Ministry says visitors who are not directly related to business operations in Kaesong industrial park will be denied entry. It affects clients, potential buyers and service providers up to 120 South Korean businesses in the North Korean border city.
South Korean companies — mostly small and medium-sized — make products such as watches and fashion goods with cheap labor from North Korea. The park, which employs about 53,000 North Koreans, is the last major inter-Korean project from the era of rapprochement.
Seoul’s presidential office later stated that it will retaliate for a North Korean nuclear test by resuming cross-border propaganda broadcasts that Pyongyang considers an act of war. The broadcast will begin on Friday.
The South stopped earlier broadcasts after it agreed with Pyongyang in late August on a package of measures aimed at easing animosities were among a variety of punitive measures being considered.
Meanwhile, the US intelligence-gathering aircraft have been taking off from an American air base in southern Japan, a day after North Korea said it tested a hydrogen bomb.
At least three planes departed Thursday from Kadena Air Base on the Japanese island of Okinawa.
It wasn't clear what their mission was, but they could be involved in trying to determine what kind of nuclear device North Korea detonated.
One of the aircraft seen departing, the RC-135S, collects optical and electronic data from ballistic targets. It is used for arms treaty compliance verification and US strategic and missile defense development.
The White House has announced that its collecting further evidence and working closely with other countries in the region to find out more about the North Korean test.
North Korea announced on Wednesday that it successfully conducted a test of a miniaturised hydrogen nuclear device. The nuclear test is the fourth by the isolated country, which is under US and UN sanctions for its nuclear and missile programmes.
North Korea said it would continue to strengthen its nuclear programme in order to protect itself against the hostile policies of the United States.