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North Korea suspends last major project with South Korea

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Lee Jin-man/AP

(Read caption) South Koreans wait for a chance to enter the North Korean city of Kaesong at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 8, 2013.

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Pyongyang announced it is withdrawing its workers from the Kaesong industrial complex, the joint North-South Korean manufacturing venture that has become something of a bellwether of North Korea's intentions amid its increased belligerent threats.

Reuters reports that the decision by the North to suspend its last major symbol of cooperation with the South came down Monday, amid growing concerns that Pyongyang is preparing some sort of provocation, possibly a missile or nuclear test.

"[The North] will temporarily suspend the operations in the zone and examine the issue of whether it will allow its (continued) existence or close it," KCNA quoted Kim Yang Gon, secretary of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, as saying.

KCNA said leaders in South Korea, a major U.S. ally, were "running the whole gamut of intrigues to find a pretext for igniting a war against (North Korea) after reducing the Kaesong Industrial zone to a theatre of confrontation".

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