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S. Korea voices regret over N.K.'s military action threat

All News 11:46 June 03, 2016

SEOUL, June 3 (Yonhap) -- South Korea on Friday expressed strong regret over North Korea's threat that it could take military action if Seoul does not accept Pyongyang's proposal for inter-Korean dialogue.

The North Korean committee on inter-Korean affairs pressed South Korea Thursday to accept the proposal by the North's leader Kim Jong-un to hold military talks, warning that it will respond with a "merciless physical option" if Seoul refuses to do so.

The South Korean government has rejected the North's offer as a propaganda ploy, calling on Pyongyang to take sincere steps toward denuclearization.

South Korea's unification ministry said that the North's threat only demonstrates that its offer for dialogue is nothing more than a bogus peace proposal which lacks sincerity.

"North Korea again threatens to take merciless physical action against us. We express stronger regret over the North's move," Jeong Joon-hee, spokesman at the ministry, said at a regular press briefing.

"The government will firmly keep its stance that denuclearization is a top priority when it comes to resuming inter-Korean dialogue," he said.

The North's leader proposed holding military talks with Seoul in a bid to defuse tension on the divided peninsula at the congress of the ruling Workers' Party held in early May.

Experts said that Pyongyang's charm offensive appears aimed at breaking the united front for tougher international sanctions against the communist country.

The U.N. Security Council slapped its strongest sanctions to date on North Korea in March for its fourth nuclear test in January and long-range rocket launch in the following month.


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