January 25, 2012
A report carried by Yonhap on 23 January cited Ministry of Unification figures showing that production at the Kaesong Industrial Complex expanded 14.4 percent year-on-year with total production reaching USD369.9 million during the January-November period in 2011, up from USD323.3 million worth of production for all of 2010.
With December 2011 yet to be accounted, production for the first 11 months marks a 25.7-percent growth from the same period in the previous year. It also cited figures stating that North Korean laborers working at the complex reached a peak of 48,708 as of November 2011 compared to 46,284 in 2010.
The figures show results rarely cited in Western media reports on North Korea and North-South issues. Debate on the Kaesong Industrial Complex is diverse, ranging from those that contend it serves as a model for further economic cooperation (and potentially strengthening the North Korean economy prior to unification) and those that contend it is an example of progressive largesse, unnecessarily enriching the North (and potentially maintain the regime, and thus prolonging division).
Notable examples of background papers, statistics sources and commentaries are provided below:
Image: Ministry of Unification