N.Korea Warns South Over Collapse of Dialogue

North Korea's nominal No. 2 leader on Tuesday warned if South Korea decides to rupture dialogue and choose confrontation, it will be solely responsible for the destructive consequences. Kim Yong-nam, who is president of the rubber-stamp Supreme People's Assembly, issued the warning at a meeting to celebrate North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's birthday at the Pyongyang Sports Center.

He added the South Korean government's "anti-national and anti-unification scheming, rejection of dialogue and failure to improve inter-Korean relations to provoke confrontation can never be tolerated."

North Korea last week stormed out of preparatory military talks with the South, but predictably blamed Seoul for the rupture. The North Korean delegates later said, "Our military and people do not feel the need to talk with the South anymore."

Neither Kim Jong-il nor his heir apparent Jong-un attended the birthday meeting.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 16, 2011 11:54 KST