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N. Korea's media demands Seoul's substantive action to improve ties

All News 15:00 August 02, 2018

SEOUL, Aug. 2 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's media on Thursday renewed its demand for South Korea to take substantive action to improve relations, blaming the current procrastination on the Seoul government sticking to the global sanctions regime.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers' Party of Korea, called for stepped-up efforts to faithfully implement what was agreed during their leader's summit in April and resolve any issues without depending on outside forces.

"If (the South) sticks to the sanctions and pressure scheme, no genuine advance in relations between the North and the South can be expected," the newspaper said in an article. "The stance and attitude on the Panmunjom Declaration should be shown through actions, not through words."

It referred to the declaration the leaders of the two Koreas adopted in their April 27 summit in which they pledged to halt hostile acts against each other and bolster cross-border exchanges and cooperation.

Working-level talks have been held to coordinate cooperation in various sectors, but the North has recently vented frustration with slower-than-expected progress.

Sanctions are being cited as a major stumbling block for the North's wish to resume long-suspended inter-Korean economic cooperation projects as Seoul and Washington have said that they will have to wait until after the North completely gives up its nuclear weapons program.

The North has blasted the South for using sanctions as an excuse to drag its feet on economic engagement.

In particular, it recently called for resumption of the operation of a joint industrial complex in its border town of Kaesong and a tour program to Mount Kumgang, both of whom have been suspended for years over strained ties.

The newspaper called for the two Koreas to take the lead in resolving any issues that could arise from carrying out the summit agreement without being influenced by other countries.

"The owner of the Panmunjom Declaration is none other than our people. Its implementation is for our people and will have to be carried out by them," it said.


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