South Korea military
South Korea military

South Korea’s defense ministry on Saturday dismissed the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)’s dialogue overtures on military matters, demanding sincere actions for denuclearization be first secured before any inter-Korean talks.

South Korea military
South Korea military
Seoul’s defense ministry said in a brief statement that there had been no change in its stance that the DPRK’s denuclearization measures should be first made before the resumption of any talks with Pyongyang, reiterating its position announced a day earlier in response to the DPRK’s dialogue proposal.

The statement came about an hour after the Ministry of the People’s Armed Forces under the DPRK’s National Defense Commission sent a notice to South Korea’s military authorities, proposing a preparation dialogue for inter-governmental military talks.

According to the DPRK’s state-run Pyongyang Broadcasting Station (PBS), the country had made overtures to the South for a working-level contact to hold inter-governmental military talks at a convenient venue and date for both sides between late May and early June to ease military tensions on the Korean peninsula and create a trustworthy atmosphere between the two sides.

South Korea’s defense ministry confirmed that the DPRK had sent the notice in the afternoon through a military hotline in the western region, which had been closed after Seoul’s decision to shut down an inter-Korean economic cooperation project in the DPRK’s border city of Kaesong.

Seoul closed down the last remaining inter-Korean economic project in the Kaesong Industrial Complex to place its unilateral sanctions over Pyongyang’s fourth nuclear test in January and a long-range rocket launch in February, which was condemned by outside world as a disguised test of ballistic missile technology.

In retaliation for the shutdown, the DPRK closed the military hotline with the South, but it resumed the communications to send the notice of its dialogue offer to Seoul’s military authorities.

The DPRK’s defense ministry said that military authorities of the two Koreas should make straightforward discussions on current issues relevant to possible military conflicts as well as need to agree upon and enforce institutional and legal measures mandatory to taking realistic actions for securing military trust between the two sides.

The notice came a day after the DPRK’s National Defense Commission said in an open letter Friday that South Korea should immediately respond to top DPRK leader Kim Jong Un’s proposal for inter-Korean military talks.

Kim mentioned the need for inter-Korean military talks during his speech at the DPRK’s historic congress of its ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (DPRK) that lasted for four days through May 9.

Seoul’s defense ministry said in response on Friday that Pyongyang should show its change in attitude toward denuclearization through actions before making any dialogue overtures, stressing that South Korea had maintained a firm position that denuclearization is a top priority in talks with the DPRK.

The DPRK’s dialogue overtures were widely expected here in South Korea as Pyongyang needs to take its “charm offensive” strategy as part of efforts to escape from the tougher-than-ever sanctions from the international community over its nuclear and rocket provocations for the first two months of this year.

A South Korean security expert was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying that the DPRK seemed to make dialogue overtures to turn its strategy from reckless provocations into a dialogue mood. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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