N.Korea Tells Seoul to Make Good on Old Promises

  • By Kim Myong-song

    June 07, 2017 10:01

    North and South Korea look set to repeat a familiar fan dance as Pyongyang on Tuesday called on Seoul to live up to hasty promises made over a decade ago that came to naught as the North accelerated its nuclear program.

    The demand came a day after North Korea spurned an offer from South Korean civic groups to resume aid and civilian exchanges.

    "The North-South relations don't improve of themselves just because a new administration has come into power in South Korea," the state-run Rodong Sinmun daily wrote Tuesday. "Nobody can expect the relations to improve just because they allow some humanitarian aid or civilian exchanges that the previous conservative clique halted."

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un poses with pilots after watching a combat flight contest on Sunday, in this picture from North Korean Central TV on Monday. /Yonhap

    New South Korean President Moon Jae-in hopes to bring about a gradual thaw by promoting civilian exchanges first.

    But the daily said South Korea must first live up to pledges made by previous presidents at historic summits in 2000 and 2007.

    "The attitude towards the inter-Korean summit declarations is the basic yardstick to determine whether they want to improve relations or seek confrontation," it said.

    A coalition of South Korean civic groups last week applied to celebrate the anniversary of the first summit in the border city of Kaesong, but the North insisted any celebration should take place in Pyongyang, and they accepted.

    And on Monday North Korea rejected offers from another coalition of civic groups to resume humanitarian aid.

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