North, South Korea rule out resumption of talks
Iran Press TV
Wed Oct 29, 2014 9:35AM GMT
North and South Korea have ruled out the resumption of high-level political talks aimed at improving inter-Korean relations, with each side blaming the other for the deadlock.
In a message sent to South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Wednesday, Pyongyang's top military body, the National Defense Commission, said Seoul must first stop the activists who send anti-Pyongyang messages on balloons across the border.
Activists in South Korea regularly launch balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang leaflets, which Pyongyang sees as a provocation.
In response, South Korea's Ministry of Unification spokesman Lim Byeong-Cheol said, "The North said... it was our (South Koreans') choice whether to hold the high-level talks or to allow launching of leaflets."
"We express our regret that holding the proposed talks on October 30... has become practically unlikely," Lim stated, adding, "The agreement is still valid... but the North should make a proposal for a date first."
The two countries had decided earlier this month to restart their negotiations.
The original agreement to resume negotiations was made during a surprise visit to South by high-ranking North Korean representatives in early October.
Seoul had proposed to hold a meeting at the border village of Panmunjom on Thursday.
The last time the two Koreas held high-level negotiations was in February. Those talks resulted in a reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
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