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Unification ministry urges 'mutual respect' following N.K.'s strong criticism of presidential office

North Korea 11:39 March 04, 2020

SEOUL, March 4 (Yonhap) -- South and North Korea should respect each other, the unification ministry said Wednesday, after the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un issued a strongly worded statement criticizing Seoul for complaining about Pyongyang's recent projectile launches.

In the statement issued Tuesday night, Kim Yo-jong heaped scorn on South Korea's presidential office over its expression of regret over Pyongyang's firings of projectiles a day earlier and its demand for a stop to such tension-raising activities.

North Korea fired what were presumed to be two projectiles from its eastern coastal city of Wonsan on Monday, the first of such launches in around three months and the first since it threatened earlier this year to showcase a "new strategic weapon" in the near future.

"For the sake of advancing inter-Korean relations and the establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, our government holds a stance that the South and the North should work together with mutual respect for each other," Yoh Sang-key, the unification ministry's spokesperson, told a regular press briefing.

Kim's harshly worded statement came amid long-stalled inter-Korean relations following the no-deal summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump in February last year.

North Korea has been unresponsive to South Korea's repeated offers for talks and cross-border cooperation, slamming Seoul for its foot-dragging in inter-Korean affairs for fear of Washington seeking to bring maximum pressure to bear on Pyongyang until its denuclearization.


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