N. Korea blames the South for cancellation of talks

June 13, 2013 at 12:50 AM
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PYONGYANG, North Korea, June 13 (UPI) -- North Korea Thursday blamed South Korea for calling off their high-level talks, saying Seoul had "no intent to hold dialogue from the beginning."

The two sides held a working-level meeting Sunday in preparation for this week's high-level talks aimed at easing tensions, but those talks were called off Tuesday reportedly because of disagreement over the status of their delegation leaders.

On Wednesday, South Korea's Ministry of Unification said its liaison officer made two attempts to reach the North through the recently reopened hotline but the calls went unanswered, indicating the North may have decided to again snap the line.

But the North, through a spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, Thursday criticized the South for creating obstacles such as over the issue of the status of the North Korean delegation leader.

"This fully proves that the south side had no intent to hold dialogue from the beginning and that it only sought to create an obstacle to the talks, delay and torpedo them after reluctantly taking part in the talks, far from solving issues at the negotiating table," said the Communist country's spokesman in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, Yonhap News reported.

The spokesman also said his country had nothing to expect from the high-level talks, which indicated the North may not seek a resumption of talks anytime soon, Yonhap said.

The high-level talks, if held, would have been the first in six years and would have dealt with various issues, including resumption of operations at the inter-Korean industrial complex in the North's border town of Kaesong. North Korea suspended the Kaesong operations in April amid rising tensions.

In Seoul, the Unification Ministry said while the government is willing to hold talks, it has no plans to make any counter proposal to start them, Yonhap said.

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