ROK regrets over DPRK's refusal to inter-Korean dialogue

Updated: 2014-11-02 17:10


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SEOUL -- South Korea on Sunday expressed strong regret after the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) said on Saturday there will be no inter-Korean dialogue unless Seoul's anti-DPRK leaflet drop is suspended.

The South Korean Unification Ministry said in a statement that the DPRK misled the South Korean authorities as a protector and supporter of civic groups' "voluntary" anti-DPRK leaflets dispersion, saying it strongly regrets over the situation.

The ministry said it will not be acceptable for the DPRK to denounce South Korean President Park Geun-hye by name, noting it will sternly deal with any provocation intended to inflict any damage to the safety of South Koreans.

The ministry's remarks came a day after the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said the country will not hold any inter-Korean dialogue with South Korea "as long as a reckless leaflet scattering operation goes on."

The committee said the Park Geun-hye administration will "have to pay a dear price" for botching the hard-won opportunity for improving the north-south ties, adding South Korea is obliged to extradite the "defectors" from the DPRK back to the country.

A South Korean civic organization floated anti-Pyongyang leaflets again in a region near the western land border at midnight of Friday to shun away from public attention, according to the DPRK statement.

On Oct. 25, a group of South Korean conservative activists sought to fly balloons carrying anti-DPRK leaflets near the inter- Korean border, but it failed as progressive civic groups and local residents were strongly opposed to it. The activists instead floated a large balloon containing the leaflets at night from the nearby area.

On Oct. 26, the DPRK's National Defense Commission sent a notice to South Korea's presidential national security office, saying it will reconsider the agreement with South Korea to hold high-level talks as Seoul did nothing to prevent civic groups from flying anti-DPRK leaflets across the border.

On Oct. 4, the DPRK agreed to the second round of high-level inter-Korean talks during a surprise visit of three senior DPRK officials to South Korea for the closing ceremony of the Incheon Asian Games. Seoul offered to hold the dialogue on Oct. 30, toward which Pyongyang kept mum.

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