North Korea rejects South Korea's calls for talks

North Korea on Sunday rebuffed a South Korean proposal to resolve rising tensions through dialogue, dismissing it as a \"crafty trick\" by the rival.

Published: 14th April 2013 05:09 PM  |   Last Updated: 14th April 2013 05:09 PM   |  A+A-


North Korea on Sunday rebuffed a South Korean proposal to resolve rising tensions through dialogue, dismissing it as a "crafty trick" by the rival.

Tensions have been high on the Korean Peninsula for weeks, with Pyongyang threatening to attack Seoul and Washington for conducting joint military drills and for supporting U.N. sanctions imposed on North Korea for a February nuclear test.

While the threats are largely seen as rhetoric, U.S. and South Korean officials have said they believe North Korea may test-fire a mid-range missile designed to reach the U.S. territory of Guam.

Pyongyang also took a direct shot at Seoul by pulling more than 50,000 North Korean workers from their joint factory park in the border of Kaesong and denying South Koreans access to the complex just north of the Demilitarized Zone.

The move has brought the South Korean-run factories to a standstill, threatening a shutdown of the last joint project left between the two Koreas.

Last Thursday, Seoul pressed Pyongyang to discuss restarting operations at the factory park. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has promoted seeking peace with North Korea, a change in policy from the hard-line stance of her predecessor, Lee Myung-bak.

But on Sunday, North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Pyongyang has no intention of talking with Seoul unless it abandons its confrontational posture.

South Korea' Unification Ministry called it a preliminary response, and said Sunday that Seoul would watch to see how things develop.

The Korean Peninsula technically remains at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. The U.S. keeps 28,500 troops to help deter potential aggression by North Korea.

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