• A South Korean vehicle carrying products from North Korea's Kaesong industrial complex arrives at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Saturday, April 27, 2013. South Korea said Friday that it has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers arriving from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • South Korean vehicles carrying products from North Korea's Kaesong industrial complex arrive at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Saturday, April 27, 2013. South Korea said Friday that it has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Koren workers arriving from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • TOPSHOTS- A South Korean car carrying products made in inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex in North Korea, arrives at a gate of the inter-Korean transit office in the border city of Paju on April 27, 2013. Dozens of South Korean workers returned from a jointly run factory park in North Korea on 27 April as part of an evacuation of the flagship project following months of military tensions. AFP PHOTO / KIM JAE-HWANKIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Koren workers arriving from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Koren workers arriving from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers unload their products made in North Korea's after arrive from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers unload their products made in North Korea's after arrive from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers arriving from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers unload their products made in North Korea's after arrive from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • South Korean vehicles carrying products from North Korea's Kaesong industrial complex arrive at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Saturday, April 27, 2013. South Korea said Friday that it has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers arriving from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers arriving from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
  • South Korean workers unload their products to a truck as they returned from North Korea's Kaesong industrial complex, at the customs, immigration and quarantine office near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Saturday, April 27, 2013. South Korea said Friday that it has decided to withdraw the roughly 175 South Koreans still at a jointly run factory complex in North Korea, raising a major question about the survival of the last symbol of inter-Korean cooperation. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • PAJU, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 27: South Korean workers unload their products made in North Korea's after arrive from the Kaesong joint industrial complex in North Korea at the inter-Korean transit office on April 27, 2013 in Paju, South Korea. South Korean Unification Ministry annouced yesterday to withdraw all 170 remaining workers from Kaesong industrial complex after failing to persuade the North to restart the talk seeking the normalization of Kaesong's operation. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)
Around 175 South Korean workers have been forced to pack up their belongings and leave a group of jointly operated factories in North Korea after tensions continued to escalate between the two countries. The workers piled tools and finished products high onto the roofs of regular passenger cars as they evacuated as quickly as possible.

North Korea says the ongoing talks with its southern neighbor geared toward keeping the factory complex operational were "deceptive" given that the US and South Korean armed forces continue to practice joint drills nearby. South Korea, meanwhile, was concerned that workers could be deprived of food or medicine if the situation continued to sour.

The evacuation has placed the future of factories operated jointly by the two countries into question and marks the most significant casualty of the continued degradation of relations between the neighbors. It is unclear when or if the facilities will reopen.

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