Overloaded South Korean's van fleeing North Korea

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.