SK Suggests Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Meeting

first_img SK Suggests Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Meeting North Korea tries to accelerate building of walls and fences along border with China There are signs that North Korea is running into serious difficulties with its corn harvest RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR SHARE Facebook Twitter By Kwon Eun Kyoung – 2011.01.11 3:39pm News center_img News News AvatarKwon Eun Kyoung News The South Korean Ministry of Unification has reacted to North Korea’s official overtures of the 10th with a counter-proposal of its own, suggesting an inter-Korean discussion on the Cheonan sinking and Yeonpyeong Island attacks. According to the Ministry of Unification, the communications, which were sent via the Kaesong Industrial Complex Management Committee, included both schedules and locations for: a working-level meeting and Red Cross meeting; measures lifting the freezing of the North-South Economic Cooperation Council Office and banishment of South Korean workers from the office which occurred in late May of last year; and the re-opening of the Red Cross channel at Panmunjom. Issuing a written response to the suggestions yesterday, the Ministry of Unification stated, “If a sincere dialogue between North and South is to be carried out, both; ① responsible measures to the Cheonan sinking and Yeonpyeong attack and promises to prevent further provocations; and ② confirmation of its sincerity on denuclearization are needed.” Therefore, “For these, we suggest a meeting between the North and South Korean authorities.” However, there was also a declaration of ongoing skepticism as to the North’s intentions, with the statement asserting, “Thus far, North Korea has shown this kind of attitude tens of times in order to change the game,” and calling it a “disguised charm offensive for the international community and one of the conventional tactics to fracture our society.” It went on, “The North’s authorities unilaterally suggest a dialogue only so as to receive economic aid and support without acknowledging its responsibility, even though it has made our people pay dearly via the Mt. Geumgang shooting incident, Cheonan sinking and Yeonpyeong Island attack.” Philip Crowley, the U.S. State Department’s spokesman agreed yesterday, saying, “We’re now in the charm stage. But the charm stage has to be followed up with a real demonstration that North Korea is prepared for sustained and constructive dialogue.” In addition, he reiterated, “It’s really what North Korea demonstrates in its day-to-day activities that will make the difference… First and foremost, if North Korea makes a public pledge not to attack South Korea… that would be a significant step to improve the environment and it would be one among many steps that North Korea could take that would convince South Korea that dialogue would be constructive.” In terms of details, the North Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, which signed off on one of the communications, suggested that the working-level meeting be held on January 27th in Kaesong in order to discuss the date, location and level of the participants in a future meeting of the authorities of the two Koreas. Elsewhere, the chair of the Chosun Red Cross Society suggested to the president of the Korea National Red Cross the holding of an inter-Korean Red Cross meeting on February 1st in Munsan, South Korea, and reported that from the 12th the Red Cross channel at Panmunjom would be open. Finally, the North Korean side’s manager in the North-South Economic Cooperation Council Office reported that they would begin working in the office in Kaesong as of the 12th. Chosun Central News Agency (KCNA) also reported the delivery of the three notices to the South yesterday under the title, “Reporting practical measures for the implementation of the North’s significant suggestions to the South.” Entire border patrol unit in North Hamgyong Province placed into quarantine following “paratyphoid” outbreak last_img

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