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N. Korean media keeps silence on pullout from liaison office for 3rd day

Politics 11:43 March 24, 2019

SEOUL, March 24 (Yonhap) -- North Korean media continued to criticize Seoul's low-key stance toward practical cooperation with Pyongyang on Sunday while keeping mum for the third day on its abrupt withdrawal of staff from a liaison office with the South.

North Korea pulled out of the inter-Korean liaison office in its border city of Kaesong on Friday without offering any detailed reasons, weeks after a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without an agreement.

Pyongyang, as well as its state-controlled media, such as the Korean Central News Agency, Rodong Sinmun and Korean Central TV, have since kept mum on the pullout.

The media, however, has criticized the coordination between Seoul and Washington over Pyongyang's nuclear programs and Seoul's plan to push for inter-Korean cooperation projects within the framework of international sanctions.

On Sunday, Uriminzokkiri, a North Korean propaganda website, issued a commentary blasting Seoul's attitude toward cooperation projects with the North.

"What is lamentable is the attitude of the South Korean government, which dreams of establishing a peace regime and achieving North-South cooperation in coordination with the U.S.," it said. "The South can gain nothing from cooperation with the U.S."

It also criticized the U.S. for trying to hinder efforts to build a lasting peace regime on the Korean Peninsula by pressing ahead with its joint military exercises with the South and laying obstacles to inter-Korean economic cooperation.

Tongil Sinbo, the North's external propaganda weekly, released a similar commentary, warning that Seoul's plan to push for inter-Korean cooperation projects within the framework of international sanctions would only trigger "unnecessary interference from outside forces."

It said the plan also goes against the basic spirit of recent inter-Korean agreements.

The weekly denounced recent plans by the South Korean government to mediate U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks as "presumptuous," saying it doesn't even know its position as someone who cannot move a step without approval and instruction from the U.S.

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