South Korean companies want to invest in the north

SHIN HAN-YONG likes to think of himself as a pioneer. “We had the courage to see the potential where others were not,” said the South Korean businessman. Its Shinhan fishing company was one of the first companies to enter production at the end of 2004 in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, a special economic zone near the border with North Korea, which was shut down in February 2016 at the following a nuclear test in the north. He always feels bitter about the closure. “Nobody asked us before closing it,” he complains. “We were the hostages of politics.”

But since the spring, Mr. Shin’s bitterness has softened. In April, Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea, and Kim Jong Un, dictator of North Korea, signed an agreement pledging to relaunch inter-Korean relations. Mr Moon has since outlined ambitious infrastructure investment plans across the peninsula, including reviving road and rail links between countries.

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