Seoul wary of North Korea's latest overture

Jan. 25, 2014 at 2:04 PM
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SEOUL, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- South Korean officials said their North Korean counterparts needed to take actions to prove they were sincere about improving relations.

North Korea recently urged the South Koreans to reduce cross-border tensions, but the Seoul government said this week it wants to see something other than words to back up Pyongyang's charm offensive.

"The North should demonstrate its sincerity through action," Kim Eui-do, spokesman for the unification ministry, said in Seoul Friday.

So far, North Korea's ideas to improve relations involved canceling upcoming military spring exercises with the United States. Pyongyang has alleged the war games that begin next month were a possible cover for a surprise nuclear strike on North Korea.

The Seoul government said the military exercises were not a ploy and would take place as scheduled.

South Korea's Yonhap News Agency noted Saturday that seeming overtures from the North have proven worthless in the past. Last year, North Korea called for improved ties with the South and then a month later carried out a test detonation of a nuclear device.

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