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(2nd LD) N. Korea says it has no intention to talk with S. Korea

All News 08:23 August 16, 2019

(ATTN: UPDATES throughout with KCNA's English-language report; ADDS more quotes in last 2 paras, photo)
By Koh Byung-joon and Choi Soo-hyang

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Friday that Pyongyang has no intention to talk with South Korea again, calling it a "senseless" hope 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 an "impudent guy rare to be found" 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 snooping about to fish in troubled waters in the future DPRK-U.S. dialogue, dreaming that the phase of dialogue would naturally arrive after the joint military exercises just as the natural change of the time of the year. He had better drop that senseless lingering attachment," the statement said.

"They can clearly see what we feel now, i.e. we have nothing to talk any more with the South Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit 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 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 that the country will work to bring North Korea back to talks on its denuclearization, reaffirming his strong commitment to inter-Korean reconciliation and cooperation despite skepticism over his peace drive amid Pyongyang's saber-rattling and hardening rhetoric.

"What cannot but be pointed out is that he said the dialogue atmosphere was not marred despite some recent 'worrisome acts' of North Korea and that things have changed from that in the past when the Korean Peninsula vibrated owing to a single 'provocation' by North Korea -- the reckless remarks that had nothing to do with the 'liberation day,'" it said.

"In the speech, he failed to put forward any proper measures against the insult by the Japanese islanders and any ways to overcome the worsening economic situation but only played with words."

President Moon Jae-in delivers a speech to mark the 74th anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japan's colonial rule during a ceremony at the Independence Hall of Korea in Cheonan, 90 kilometers south of Seoul, on Aug. 15, 2019. (Yonhap)


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