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DPRK criticizes ROK for aborted talks

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-06-13 14:00

PYONGYANG - The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Thursday criticized the Republic of Korea for the aborted plans to hold high-level talks between the two sides, indicating it would not seek dialogue for the time being.

The ROK and the DPRK agreed on Monday on working-level talks in the border village of Panmunjom to hold their first high-level talks in six years, but the talks were called off Tuesday due to disagreement over the level of chief delegates.

"The south side insisted on ministerial-level talks from the beginning, but right before the start of the talks, it downgraded the level of its chief delegate. This is the height of discourtesy and disrespect unprecedented in the history of north-south dialogue," a spokesman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) said in a statement.

"This fully proves that the south side had no intent to hold dialogue from the beginning. It only sought to create an obstacle to the talks and to delay and torpedo them after reluctantly taking part in the talks, far from solving issues at the negotiating table," the spokesman said, adding that "we have nothing to expect from the talks between authorities of the two sides".

It was the first time that Pyongyang made a response since the talks were called off.

"The problem raised this time is not a simple issue related to the level of the delegation head, but a manifestation of its sinister intention to make the talks abortive as it found it hard to realize its scenario for abusing the talks for the purpose of confrontation," a report of the official KCNA news agency said.

The DPRK on Tuesday unilaterally notified the ROK of its decision to delay the dispatch of its delegation, as it was upset by Seoul's notification that it would be represented by a vice minister in talks scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday in Seoul.

The ROK's delegation was expected to be led by Vice-Unification Minister Kim Nam-shik, but the DPRK lashed out at such nomination of a low-level official. Pyongyang nominated CPRK Director Kang Ji-young as chief delegate.

Seoul originally planned to send Unification Minister Ryoo to the meeting as chief negotiator and expected Kim Yang Gon, secretary of the Central Committee of Workers'Party of Korea, at the talks.

The DPRK last Thursday proposed holding inter-governmental meetings with the ROK on inter-Korean issues. The latter accepted the proposal on the same day, hoping the talks will become an opportunity to help forge trust.

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