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N.Korea Criticizes Seoul's Call for Government-Level Talks

RIA Novosti

07:57 02/06/2013

SEOUL, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - North Korea lashed at the South Korean president for insisting on government-level talks on the Kaesong industrial zone instead of accepting the communist country's earlier call for resolving tensions at the civilian level.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted the North's main propaganda website Uriminzokkiri as saying that President Park Geun-hye had 'ignored (the North's) sincerity' by demanding government-level talks on Kaesong.

North Korea has asked South Korean businessmen owning factories in the industrial park to visit the complex to discuss pending issues, saying that government officials are free to join them. Pyongyang has also suggested holding a joint civilian event to mark the anniversary of the first-ever inter-Korean summit on June 15, 2000.

Park rejected the proposal, saying that all bilateral issues should be resolved only on the level of governments.

'Insisting on government-level dialogue is no different from a shameless and hideous argument that (we) must do what they demand regardless of what the (South Korean) people want,' the North Korean website reads.

'If the South Korean government had the sincere will to resolve issues between the North and the South and achieve national unity and peaceful reunification ... there is no reason why it should not accept our proposal,' the statement reads.

All operations at Kaesong were suspended on April 9, when Pyongyang pulled out all of its 53,000 staff. The complex, located just inside the North Korean border, is the only jointly-run industrial enterprise shared by the two nations, which have remained technically at war with each other since signing an armistice in 1953.

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