Sept. 5 (UPI) -- A senior North Korean official says inter-Korea engagement is not working because the South is not living up to its promises.
Pyongyang's Vice Premier Ri Ryong Nam told reporters Thursday at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia that North Korea is not to blame for the decline in diplomacy.
"It is South Korea that should carry out the points in the Joint Declaration and the Panmunjom Declaration," Ri said, according to Yonhap. "How can it not?"
Ri made the remarks after a brief impromptu meeting with his South Korean counterpart Hong Nam-gi.
Hong first approached Ri at the forum to extend a handshake. The North Korean official remained seated as he shook hands with Hong.
Hong later told South Korean reporters he said to Ri their meeting "should have happened on the Korean Peninsula." Ri may have said in response he would have preferred a meeting on native soil.
But Ri may have also brushed off friendly comments from the South Korean official, telling Hong the South "should extend better treatment" to the North.
The response came after Hong said he "hoped dialogue would continue between the two Koreas," along with progress in economic cooperation.
North Korea has blamed U.S.-South Korea military exercises for tensions and for its decision to conduct multiple rounds of missile tests.
Pyongyang recently hosted a Chinese delegation that included top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi this week.
Wang recently returned from the visit after being unable to meet with leader Kim Jong Un. Pyongyang's state-controlled news agency KCNA said North Korean official Ri Su Yong asked Wang to give Chinese President Xi Jinping and first lady Peng Liyuan regards from Kim.
Chinese state media, including network CCTV, did not confirm a meeting between Wang and Kim.
On Thursday Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the visit was a "success that celebrated the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations," according to Yonhap.