Kimberly-Clark, Dallas, TX, one of the world's biggest makers of health care and sanitary goods, is considering opening a factory in a South Korean-built industrial zone in North Korea, according to the company's senior executive. Moon Kook-hyun, CEO of Yuhan-Kimberly Ltd., Kimberly-Clark's South Korean unit in Seoul, recently revealed that the company's plant in China may take part in slots of the industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Gaeseong. “First of all, I plan to sign a preliminary contract (to take part in the Gaeseong industrial complex) and then will persuade our head office,” Mr. Moon said.
Mr. Moon and Thomas Falk, chairman of Kimberly-Clark, visited the Gaeseong industrial park in February. Currently, state-run Korea Land Corp. is receiving bids from foreign companies that want to set up factories in Gaeseong, located just 70 kilometers north of Seoul. “If Kimberly-Clark applies to receive land for the Gaeseong industrial park, there will be no difficulty,” said an official at Korea Land.
South Korea began building the industrial park in 2003 on a trial basis with the hope of creating a model for eventual reunification of the Korean Peninsula. If the industrial zone becomes fully operational by 2012, more than 350,000 North Korean workers will work there, according to the South's Unification Ministry.