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(LEAD) N. Korea says it has no intention to talk with S. Korea

All News 07:21 August 16, 2019

(ATTN: ADDS more details throughout)

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Friday that Pyongyang has no intention to talk with South Korea again, calling it an "illusion" to expect talks to be resumed when Seoul's joint military exercise with the United States is over.

The spokesperson of the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country issued a statement, calling South Korean President Moon Jae-in a "rarely shameless person" and dismissing his Thursday speech to celebrate the liberation from the Japanese colonial rule as rhetorical and thoughtless remarks, according to the Korean Central News Agency.

"The South Korean authorities are having an illusion that the phase of talks will automatically come around just like seasons change when the joint military exercise is over, wanting to freeride on future North Korea-U.S. talks, but they would be better to give up such weak and lingering desire fast," the statement said.

"It will be known later, but we not only have nothing to discuss with South Korean authorities but also have no intention to sit face to face with them again," it added.

North Korea has lambasted South Korea for holding a joint military exercise with the U.S., which started earlier this month, claiming that it is a rehearsal for their invasion of the North.

The North has recently said that inter-Korean dialogue won't resume unless the South offers a "plausible excuse" for its combined military exercise with the U.S.

In recent weeks, Pyongyang conducted a series of missile tests in an apparent show of force against the ongoing Seoul-Washington joint military exercise.

Inter-Korean relations have remained stalled as Pyongyang has not responded to Seoul's offers for cooperation and talks amid little progress in its denuclearization negotiations with the U.S.

On Thursday, President Moon said in his speech to mark the liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule reaffirmed his strong commitment to inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation despite skepticism over his peace drive amid Pyongyang's saber-rattling and hardening rhetoric.


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