North Korea Blocks Off Joint Zone

    South Korean drivers wait at the customs, immigration and quarantine office, as they head to the North Korean city of Kaesong,   in Paju, South Korea, near the border village of Panmunjom, Wednesday, April 3, 2013.  North Korea on Wednesday barred South Korean workers from entering a jointly run factory park just over the heavily armed border in the North, officials in Seoul said, a day after Pyongyang announced it would restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    South Korean drivers at Kaesong border crossing on Wednesday. (Ahn Young-joon/AP)

    North Korea on Wednesday closed the border crossing at Kaesong, a joint industrial zone, for the first time since 2009. Around 800 South Koreans who were there overnight were allowed to return, South Korea said. The industrial complex, launched in 2003, is the last functional border crossing between the two Koreas, and is home to more than 120 factories that employ more than 50,000 managers from North Korea. South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se appeared in Washington on Wednesday with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who vowed to defend the U.S. and its “treaty ally” from threats from the North.

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