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N.K. dismisses S. Korea's wish for better ties as 'nonsense'

2017/07/20 10:42

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SEOUL, July 20 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Thursday that it is nonsense for South Korea to hope to improve inter-Korean ties while taking a confrontational policy against the North without giving up its dependence on the United States.

The North's comments came four days after Seoul proposed holding inter-Korean military talks on Friday to ease tensions along the tense border and Red Cross talks on Aug. 1 to resume reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main newspaper, called on South Korea to make a decision over whether to stick to its confrontational policy and submission to the U.S.

"Ditching confrontation and hostility is a precondition for opening the door for the two Koreas' reconciliation and unity," the newspaper said.

South Korea's dialogue offer came after President Moon Jae-in proposed ways to bring permanent peace to the divided peninsula during his speech in Berlin earlier this month.

Moon earlier vowed to seek a dual-track approach of North Korea's denuclearization and engagement with Pyongyang.

On Monday, the government said that it wants North Korea to show a response via the now-suspended communication channels.

Seoul's unification ministry said that North Korea did not respond to a South Korean official's call at a liaison office at the truce village of Panmunjom.

North Korea cut off two inter-Korean communication channels since February 2016 when Seoul shut down a joint industrial complex in the North's border city of Kaesong in response to the North's nuclear and missile tests.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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