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Rival parties give mixed responses to N.K.'s cancellation of talks

All Headlines 15:13 May 16, 2018

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean ruling and opposition parties on Wednesday gave mixed responses to North Korea's unilateral cancellation of high-level talks with Seoul and threat to pull out of a planned summit with the United States.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) cautioned against reading into the North's move too much while the main opposition Liberty Korea Party called on the government to realize North Korea's real intention for its "disguised peace offensive."

North Korea abruptly canceled high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for Wednesday, citing ongoing joint military exercises between the South and the U.S. It also threatened to cancel a summit with Washington slated for June in Singapore.

"Until the reason why the North made such an announcement is determined, I am asking political circles and media not to make any assumptions only with speculation," Choo Mi-ae, the chief of the DP, said at a meeting with senior party officials.

The high-level talks were supposed to be the venue to discuss follows-up measures to a historic summit between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held in late April.

The leaders issued a joint declaration in which both sides agreed to seek "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and inter-Korean exchanges and cooperation.

Hong Young-pyo, the floor leader of the DP, also called for caution, stressing efforts to bring peace to the peninsula.

"To overcome challenges on a path toward a peace regime, it is very important for the general public to join efforts for peace and for the National Assembly to clarify its willingness to approve the joint summit declaration."

Meanwhile, opposition parties slammed the government's soft stance on North Korea.

"The North's behavior confirmed that we should deal with North Korea with a grain of salt," Chang Je-won, a spokesman for the conservative Liberty Korea Party, said. "The government should come to sense what the North is and join inter-Korean talks with reasonable doubts."

The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party condemned the North for making an "unjustified" decision as Pyongyang previously expressed its understanding of Seoul and Washington's joint military drills.

Rival parties give mixed responses to N.K.'s cancellation of talks - 1


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