South Korea Regrets Pyongyang's Refusal to Inter-Korean Dialogue
MOSCOW, November 2 (RIA Novosti) - South Korea on Sunday expressed deep regret after the North Korean authorities announced inter-Korean dialogue would not be possible unless an anti-Pyongyang leaflet drop campaign is halted, Xinhua reported.
In a statement, the South Korean Unification Ministry said that Pyongyang was mistaken, calling the South Korean authorities a protector and supporter of the civic groups' anti-communist leaflets dispersion and expressed strong regret over the situation.
The ministry also said that it is not acceptable for North Korea to denounce South Korea President Park Geun-hye by name and vow to take all due measures to inflict damage towards South Koreans.
The ministry's reaction came a day after the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said the government will not hold any inter-Korean negotiations with South Korea unless the leaflet campaign is suspended.
'The South Korean authorities should not even dream of sitting at the negotiating table with us as long as a reckless leaflet scattering operation goes on,' said a statement released by the committee on Saturday.
A South Korean civic organization sent anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets by balloon over the border in Kyeonggi Province near the western land border at midnight on Friday to escape public attention, according to the statement.
The committee said the Park Geun-hye administration will 'have to pay a dear price' for hindering possible improvements of Korean relations.
Furthermore, South Korean authorities are obliged to extradite the 'defectors' from North Korea back to the country in accordance with international norms and practice, the statement added.
On October 25, a group of South Korean conservative activists tried to float balloons carrying anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets across the Korean border. There was heavy opposition from local residents and progressive groups.
In mid-October, the two Koreas held talks between army generals on easing military tensions. The South also suggested Pyongyang hold high-level talks on October 30. However, on October 27, North Korea rejected the proposal citing the leaflet scattering campaign as a reason.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|