North Korea condemns South Korean president for provocative remarks

Pyongyang said North Koreans are "distressed" about Seoul’s outreach to a foreign country in its effort to improve inter-Korea relations, but did not identify China by name.
By Elizabeth Shim Contact the Author   |  Sept. 14, 2015 at 9:57 AM
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SEOUL, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- North Korea said South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been triggering provocations through her "unification diplomacy," but Seoul issued a report that said Park's administration has ended the "vicious cycle" of North-South conflicts.

North Korea's state newspaper Rodong Sinmun stated Monday in an editorial that Park's use of the term "unification diplomacy" was a provocation, South Korean outlet Newsis reported.

Pyongyang said North-South relations must be built on the foundation of inter-Korean solidarity, but Seoul has been crediting a "foreign power" for the Aug. 25 agreement that defused tensions at the border.

"The South Korean authorities are increasingly blathering on about 'unification diplomacy,' but to involve a foreign power in the process is an act of subservience and betrayal," North Korea said.

On Sept. 2, Park and Chinese leader Xi Jinping had said they oppose North Korea's nuclear program in a historic joint statement issued in Beijing – and Pyongyang had responded immediately with a warning and blasted Park for her "frivolous remarks." Park had also credited China for playing an important role in the Aug. 25 agreement.

In Monday's editorial, Pyongyang said North Koreans are distressed about Seoul's outreach to a foreign country but did not identify the country by name. In the statement, North Korea also refrained from using the term "puppet" in reference to the government in Seoul.

"We gave Seoul authorities advice based on principle and brotherly love," North Korea said. "If the South truly intends to improve inter-Korea relations, they must heed our warning and refrain from using words of provocation."

South Korea, however, has been promoting its recent diplomatic breakthrough with Beijing in a 138-page report on the government's recent accomplishments, South Korean newspaper JoongAng Ilbo reported.

The publication issued in Seoul on Monday said the Aug. 25 deal "broke the vicious cycle of provocation," and that through "trust-centered diplomacy" has strengthened bilateral ties with the United States and China.

The report also said an agreement reached between Seoul and Washington on nuclear cooperation in April was an achievement, although the two sides failed to agree on Seoul's request to be permitted to enrich uranium and reprocess spent fuel.

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