"The Korean-American relationship is very important and our visit to Chinhae gives us the opportunity to strengthen the outstanding relationship that exists between the USA and [South Korea]", said Cmdr.
Tensions over North Korea's weapons programme have soared in recent months with Pyongyang launching a flurry of missiles and conducting its sixth and most powerful nuclear test in defiance of multiple sets of United Nations sanctions.
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday (Oct 11) that his attitude is "the one that matters" when it comes to resolving the impasse over North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.
When it first opened in 2004, the Kaesong complex, located about 54 kilometers northwest of Seoul, was meant to promote inter-Korean development and give North Korean workers a taste of life in the south, including snack foods like the cakes known as Choco Pies and toiletries that were resold as luxury items in the North.
President Trump summoned his national security team, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to the White House to talk about the potential conflict.
But Trump's position on the North has been more confrontational.
At the end of last month, North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong-ho said that the USA had "declared war" on the authoritarian state and was "right" to shoot down American planes.
Carter travelled to Pyongyang in June of that year and reached an agreement with Kim Il Sung for the North to freeze its nuclear program.
To make the complex fully operational again, North Korea would also be hard pressed to replace the electricity supply that came from South Korea, according to the Kaesong business owners. Robert Gates, who served as Secretary of Defense for almost five years during the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations, said on October 9 that "at a number of different points I have to confess in reading the President's tweets that I wish Twitter had never been invented", the daily The Australian reported on October 10.
"Carter going to Pyongyang has to be better than the current situation", said Brown.
The North has test-fired dozens of missiles, including two ICBMs in July.
The United States frequently deploys bombers and other strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula to show off its military might in a warning to the North, which has test-fired dozens of missiles over the past year and a half.
"To my mind, neither option is very good, but dialogue has to be better than the alternative", he added. "He will not allow Carter to go there to broker peace because it would be a serious personal embarrassment to him".
Asked if he undercut the secretary of state with the IQ comment, Trump said, "I don't believe in undercutting people". And if the North is genuinely willing to talk, that might signal that worldwide sanctions are slowly beginning to impact the regime or that Kim realizes that, sooner or later, they will cripple his nation and potentially cause his citizens to question his leadership.