August 02, 2017 13:21
North Korea never responded to Seoul's proposals for military talks on July 21 and Red Cross talks on Aug. 1, making it increasingly clear that it wants to freeze South Korea out of any negotiations on its nuclear and missile programs.
A Unification Ministry spokesman told reporters on Tuesday the North "hasn't made any response to the offers yet."
"Seoul will continue to make multifaceted efforts to solve humanitarian issues" like the reunion of families separated by the Korean War "and to ease military tensions along the border area," the spokesman added. "We're not going to be overly optimistic or pessimistic about any response or lack thereof."
But some ministry officials are embarrassed that they are being so completely ignored. "We didn't think that the North would meekly accept to our offers, but we hoped that they would make a counterproposal or at least some kind of gesture," one said.
Since the Moon administration came into office, Pyongyang has turned down 76 approaches from South Korean civic groups to visit the North.
The regime also rejected a proposal from Hyundai Group, its long-term business partner in the South, to visit Mt. Kumgang and hold a memorial service for its late chairman Chung Mong-hun. Hyundai executives went to the resort for the memorial service almost every year.
The regime also dismissed President Moon Jae-in's offer to field a unified team in the upcoming Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as "ridiculous."
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