S. Korea stresses adherence to sanctions on DPRK despite dialogue offers
People's Daily Online
(Xinhua) 15:11, May 27, 2016
SEOUL, May 27 -- South Korea's top policymakers on Friday stressed the need for adherence to sanctions on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) despite Pyongyang's repeated dialogue offers on military matters.
South Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn said in his congratulatory speech for a unification forum, hosted by Yonhap news agency, that it needs to pressure the DPRK together with the international community to make Pyongyang give up its nuclear development delusion.
Hwang stressed that now is the time to focus on sanctions against the DPRK, saying that the DPRK's simultaneous push for nuclear and economic developments would deepen the country's economic hardships and diplomatic isolation from the international society.
The prime minister urged the DPRK to abandon its nuclear ambition and join Seoul's efforts to build trust between the two sides, noting that doors are always open to inter-Korean dialogue if Pyongyang shows its denuclearization will through sincere actions.
His comments were in line with the South Korean military's stance that was announced to reject the DPRK's dialogue overtures on military affairs to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
The DPRK's Ministry of the People's Armed Forces proposed on May 21 to its South Korean counterpart holding a working-level contact for inter-governmental military talks at a convenient venue and date for both sides between late May and early June.
The proposal came a day after the DPRK's National Defense Commission made the similar dialogue overtures, flatly rejected by Seoul's defense ministry that said there was no sincerity shown in the overtures as the DPRK ministry failed to mention its denuclearization will.
The DPRK defense ministry made another dialogue proposal to its South Korean counterpart once again earlier this week, but Seoul rejected it, citing no mentioning of denuclearization.
South Korean Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo told the forum that now is not the time for dialogue between the two sides though inter-Korean talks are necessary.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at a forum, held in South Korea's southern resort island of Jeju, on Thursday that the road to dialogue with the DPRK should be sought again, urging the DPRK to stop provocations and return to the direction of observing international obligations.
Reiterating South Korea's stance on the DPRK's dialogue proposals, Hong said that Pyongyang's dialogue overtures lacked sincerity as DPRK has insisted that nuclear issues cannot be put on agenda for the inter-Korean talks.
Considering the DPRK's current attitude, South Korea's acceptance of dialogue offers would end up as a dialogue for dialogue turning a blind eye to Pyongyang's nuclear development, Hong said.
Hong urged the DPRK to clearly show its denuclearization will if the country really wants defused tensions on the peninsula and improved inter-Korean relations, saying that the DPRK's nuclear development and improved inter-Korean ties cannot be compatible.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Park Geun-hye, who is in a state visit to African countries, said in her video congratulatory speech for the forum that her country will never succumb to the DPRK's threats although there's possibility for Pyongyang to continue provocations such as another nuclear test.
She pointed out the DPRK's fourth nuclear test in January and the launch of a long-range rocket, which was condemned by outside world as a disguised test of ballistic missile technology, in February.
The president noted that Pyongyang dismissed her country's hopes for improved inter-Korean relations by claiming that the DPRK is a nuclear state during the seventh congress of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK). The congress lasted for four days through May 9.
She said reunification between the two sides would be the only way to opening national prosperity and the future of happiness to settle down real peace in Northeast Asia as well as on the Korean Peninsula.
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