Quantcast
Latest Stories

N. Korea slams South for talks failure


The venue for the Koreas’ first high-level meeting is seen at Grand Hilton Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, Tuesday, June 11, 2013. South Korea said its planned talks with North Korea have been scrapped on their eve because of a stalemate over who will lead each delegation. AP/Ahn Young-joon

SEOUL – North Korea on Thursday blamed South Korean arrogance and deceit for the collapse of planned talks between the two rivals and warned that prospects for any future dialogue had been severely damaged.

The two Koreas had initially agreed to hold their first high-level talks in six years in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday this week, but they were called off at the last minute following a dispute over protocol.

The talks initiative had been seen as a step forward after months of soaring military tensions, but its collapse has instead resulted in a sizeable backwards stride.

Even the one positive development — the restoration of an inter-government hotline — seemed in doubt, with the North refusing to answer calls from the South since Wednesday morning.

“The South side had no intent to hold dialogue from the beginning,” said a spokesman for the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea — the state body that handles inter-Korean issues.

“It only sought to create an obstacle to the talks, delay and then torpedo them,” he said in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, accusing the South of “arrogant obstructions and deliberate disturbance”.

“This impolite and immoral provocative behavior made us think once again whether it will be possible to properly discuss matters or improve relations even if official talks are opened in the future,” the spokesman said.

The agreement to meet in Seoul this week had looked vulnerable from the outset — requiring 17 hours of negotiation on Sunday that ended with no real consensus on the agenda and other issues.

The final nail in the coffin was a dispute over who would represent each side, with the North arguing that the South’s nomination of a vice minister as its chief delegate was an insult.

When Seoul refused to upgrade to a cabinet minister, the North cancelled the dispatch of its delegation.

South Korea insisted its vice minister was commensurate in rank to the North’s chief delegate and said Pyongyang had to accept international diplomatic norms.

The South’s Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-Jae, suggested the whole protocol rift was an inevitable “growing pain” as the new administration of President Park Geun-Hye seeks to define a new relationship with Pyongyang.

Park, who took office in February, has pushed a “trust-building” policy with the North, which offers engagement but no concessions without reciprocity.

The talks in Seoul were to have focused on re-opening two suspended commercial projects — the Kaesong joint industrial zone and South Korea tours to the North’s Mount Kumgang resort.

Both were important hard currency earners for North Korea which has been squeezed by successive UN sanctions imposed over its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea effectively closed Kaesong by withdrawing its 53,000 workers from the complex in early April as military tensions peaked.

Representatives of the 123 South Korean firms based in Kaesong voiced their bitter disappointment at the cancellation of the talks, and complained that their businesses were being held hostage to the vagaries of North-South politics.


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: dialogue , Diplomacy , North korea , Peace Talks , South korea




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
Advertisement

News

  • 12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC
  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
  • Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday
  • Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City
  • Sports

  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement