South Korea says Pyongyang should not infringe on the property rights of South Korean companies that had been doing business at the now-closed Kaesong industrial complex, where most firms left behind facilities and equipment.
The remarks from Seoul come after Pyongyang indicated that it may have resumed operations at Kaesong.
An official from Seoul's unification ministry made clear that Seoul's stance has not changed: Pyongyang cannot act unilaterally on issues affecting the industrial complex.
Those comments came in response to an op-ed posted on the North's propaganda website Uriminzokkiri that stated no one should interfere with what the regime does in the industrial park, which it called its sovereign territory.
Another propaganda outlet, Meari, referenced hardworking laborers at the park and also said the industrial zone lies within North Korea's sovereign territory.
While Seoul has not verified that operations are underway at the industrial zone,.. Radio Free Asia, citing North Korean sources in China, reported this week that the North has secretly started running 19 clothing factories at Kaesong for its domestic market as well as Chinese customers.
Since Seoul announced the suspension of operations at Kaesong last February, satellite imagery has shown North Korea has run and re-located South Korean-owned buses.
Connie Kim, Arirang News.