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(LEAD) N.K. media urges Seoul to seek cross-border cooperation free from outside intervention

North Korea 11:16 April 16, 2019

(ATTN: RECASTS lead; ADDS Rodong Sinmun's reporting in paras 3-4, byline)
By Koh Byung-joon

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korean media outlets urged South Korea on Tuesday to reject outside interference with inter-Korean issues, saying that none other than the two Koreas can be the main players in resolving cross-border issues.

It was the latest in a series of calls that North Korean media outlets have been making to urge the South to deal with inter-Korean issues independently of the United States, since leader Kim Jong-un said last week that Seoul should play a more active role in moving inter-Korean cooperation by voicing its own opinions.

"Inter-Korean relations are an internal matter of the nation and should be resolved independently, with our own people in the North and the South being masters of them," the Rodong Sinmun, the organ of the North's ruling party, said.

"Depending on outside forces is the way toward the end of a country and coordination among our own people is the way toward peace and unification," the paper added.

Meari, a North Korean propaganda outlet, made a similar appeal.

"There is no right or cause for outside forces to intervene in North-South relations. Issues linked to North-South relations should be resolved independently by the owner, our own people," it said.

"If Korean people's independence and coordination are a driver for North-South relations, following outside forces and seeking coordination with them can be an obstacle to peace, prosperity and unification," it noted. "It is an anachronistic to mind others and follow their leads when North-South relations have entered a new phase."

North Korea's media have been demanding South Korea be more active in improving inter-Korean relations, apparently expressing displeasure with slower-than-expected cross-border exchanges constrained by pressure from Washington to keep sanctions in place until the North's complete denuclearization.

In a policy speech to the Supreme People's Assembly on Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said that he is committed to improving inter-Korean relations but urged Seoul to stop trying to play a "broker" or "facilitator" role in denuclearization talks but play a more active role by voicing its own opinions in matters linked to the two Koreas.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un speaks at a plenary session of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea in Pyongyang on April 10, 2019, in this photo provided by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) the next day. Kim called repeatedly for self-reliant economic development as he vowed never to cave in to U.S.-led sanctions over North Korea's nuclear program, according to KCNA. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)


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