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DPRK proposes talks on Asian Games

By Agencies in Pyongyang and Seoul | China Daily | Updated: 2014-07-11 07:05

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has proposed working-level talks with the Republic of Korea over Pyongyang's participation in the upcoming Asian Games, the DPRK's official KCNA news agency reported on Thursday.

The talks can be held on either the northern or the southern part of Panmunjom around July 15, KCNA said, citing a notice sent by the DPRK Olympic Committee to the organizing committee of the 17th Asian Games.

The ROK's Unification Ministry said it was reviewing the DPRK's offer.

The notice reaffirmed the DPRK's decision to send a delegation and a large cheering squad to the sports meet, scheduled from Sept 19 to Oct 4 in Incheon.

The DPRK said that its participation is aimed at improving inter-Korean relations and creating a positive atmosphere for national unity as clarified in the government statement it issued on Monday, in which it called for ending north-south confrontation.

The statement, issued one day before the 20th anniversary of the death of former top leader Kim Il-sung, clarified Pyongyang's principles and stances on easing tensions on the peninsula and achieving "independent reunification" of the nation.

The DPRK also suggested other measures that it said would ease tension, such as ending mutual slandering between the two countries and the cancellation of regular ROK-US military drills that the DPRK calls an invasion rehearsal.

The ROK has rejected the proposals, saying the DPRK must first take steps toward nuclear disarmament.

Pyongyang's state media said on Thursday that DPRK leader Kim Jong-un gave field guidance on a tactical rocket-firing drill, a likely reference to Wednesday's reported ballistic launches.

The drill, which was carried out in the country's western sector of the front, once again fully demonstrated the strong combat capability of the tactical rockets, said the report.

Xinhua - AP

(China Daily 07/11/2014 page12)

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