Seoul Dismisses Pyongyang's Call for Dialogue

      January 07, 2011 10:28

      South Korea has dismissed a call for dialogue from the North as lacking "seriousness."

      A Unification Ministry official on Thursday said the government cannot consider North Korea's offer of talks serious unless the regime takes responsible steps over its sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan and shelling of Yeonyeong Island. By "responsible steps," "we mean that the North should show a change that can convince" the South Korean people and the international community, he added.

      The North called for "resolving inter-Korean confrontation" in its Yew Year's editorial last Saturday and in another joint statement by the government and the Workers Party on Wednesday demanded "unconditional dialogue between two Koreas." 

      But a Cheong Wa Dae official said, "All recent North Korean proposals for dialogue lack seriousness" because the regime still shifts responsibility for the military provocations to the South. Nor did it make any official proposals to the South Korean government through formal channels but merely tried to drum up support among the South Korean public through propaganda organs.

      Foreign Ministry spokesman Kim Young-sun told reporters the regime also lacks sincerity about the nuclear issue. "It is important for the North to show it is determined to fulfill its international duties to denuclearize," he said.

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