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DPRK lifts cross-border restrictions, signaling thaw in inter-Korean ties

2009-08-22 08:28 BJT

PYONGYANG, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday lifted traffic restrictions on its border with South Korea, which, analysts say, is the latest sign the DPRK hopes for a thaw in inter-Korean ties.

The DPRK announced it has completely normalized cross-border traffic for South Korean workers and cargo trains, lifting bans it had imposed since December, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported Friday.

Such a measure has not yet been officially reported by DPRK media.

The DPRK made the announcement after Kim Jong Il, the country's top leader, pledged to ease the restrictions during a visit by Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong Eun earlier this week.

He also guaranteed the safety of South Korean tourists visiting the DPRK and promised to boost bilateral cooperation in developing a jointly run industrial park.

In the so-called "December 1 Measure" imposed in protest of Seoul's hardline border restrictions, the DPRK restricted the number of times South Korean workers could travel to an industrial park in its border town of Kaesong.