North Korea on Sunday rejected calls by South Korea for a dialogue to ease tensions on the Peninsula, amid Pyongyang’s threats of war.
Pyongyang dismissed the offer to hold talks from South Korean President Park Guen Hye as “a cunning ploy to hide the South’s policy of confrontation,” according to the Yonhap news agency.
A spokesman for Pyongyang’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said no substantial negotiations could take place amid ongoing joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States.
“Under these circumstances, is it possible to hold a dialogue? Such a dialogue would be meaningless,” the spokesman was quoted as saying.
During separate meetings with US Secretary of State John Kerry and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, who visited Seoul earlier, Ms. Park said she was prepared to talk with Pyongyang and “activate the trust-building process.” She made the offer after operations at an inter-Korean industrial park in North Korea’s border city of Kaesong was halted last week, raising concerns that Pyongyang was preparing to test-fire one of its medium-range missiles.
Mr. Kerry warned that North Korea would be making a “huge mistake” if it carries out a rocket test amid the tensions, and stressed the United States would defend its Asian allies against attacks.