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Summary of inter-Korean news this week

All Headlines 16:00 August 16, 2019

SEOUL, Aug. 16 (Yonhap) -- The following is a summary of inter-Korean news this week.

Unification ministry says Pyongyang's criticism of military exercise not helpful for inter-Korean ties

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- The unification ministry on Monday refuted North Korea's ramped-up criticism that the ongoing joint Seoul-Washington military drill is a violation of agreements between the two Koreas, saying such criticism does not help advance inter-Korean relations.

North Korea has lashed out at South Korea and the U.S. for holding a joint military exercise that kicked off earlier this month. The North earlier said that inter-Korean dialogue will stop until Seoul gives a "plausible excuse" for the drill.

"(We) want to point out that the criticism by North Korea's foreign ministry and its media outlets against our government mentioning the South Korea-U.S. joint exercise does not help advance inter-Korean relations at all," Lee Sang-min, the ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

N.K.'s criticism of S. Korea intensifies as allies' joint exercise continues

SEOUL, Aug. 12 (Yonhap) -- From fool to feces, words rarely used of late by North Korea's foreign ministry appeared in a statement on Sunday when it criticized South Korea over its joint military training with the United States.

Calling the ongoing drill an "aggressive war exercise" against the North, Kwon Jong-gun, the North Korean foreign ministry's director-general of the department of American affairs, warned that inter-Korean dialogue will remain suspended until Seoul gives a "plausible excuse" over the exercise.

It was only the latest in a series of similar statements that criticized the exercise, but this time, the North Korean official went on to compare South Korean authorities to a "fool," the South Korean presidential office to a "shy dog" and the allies' drill to "shit."

Spy chiefs of Koreas met secretly in April after no-deal summit breakdown in Hanoi: source

SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- The top intelligence officials of the two Koreas met secretly in April after the North's spy chief was replaced following February's no-deal summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump, a government source confirmed Tuesday.

The meeting between National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon and his North Korean counterpart, Jang Kum-chol, came right after Jang took over as chief of the North's United Front Department (UFD), the source said.

Jang replaced Kim Yong-chol, who served as the North's top interlocutor in nuclear negotiations with the United States. The replacement was seen as a move to hold Kim responsible for February's no-deal summit with the U.S.

S. Korea hardest hit by N. Korea's cyberattacks: report

SEOUL, Aug. 13 (Yonhap) -- The United Nations is investigating at least 35 cases of cyberattacks in 17 countries allegedly committed by North Korea to fund its weapons of mass destruction programs, and South Korea was the most frequently attacked victim, a media report said.

Among the total 35 incidents, 10 involved South Korea, followed by India with three and Bangladesh and Chile with two each, the Associated Press said, citing a report submitted by U.N. experts to the Security Council.

Costa Rica, Gambia, Guatemala, Kuwait, Liberia, Malaysia, Malta, Nigeria, Poland, Slovenia, South Africa, Tunisia and Vietnam suffered one attack each, it said.

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

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.

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