S. Korea's vice unification minister dismisses DPRK's call for talks as "insincere"

23:26, January 07, 2011      

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A recent conciliatory overture from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) seems to "lack sincerity", South Korea's vice unification minister Um Jong-sik told local media Friday.

The DPRK's state media recently called for"unconditional"and "early"talks with South Korea to ease tension on the Korean peninsula.

The DPRK is "ready to anyone anytime and anywhere,"what it said in a statement carried by the state-run Korean Central News Agency, which observers here interpreted as "an apparent about- face in its usual harsh rhetoric against Seoul".

"Considering the content of the proposal or how it was made, it is hard to take it as a sincere, formal offer for dialogue,"Um Jong-sik said on a KBS radio show, adding "if North Korea doesn't take any responsible measures, constructive dialogues are unlikely to happen."

The South Korean government has urged its northern counterpart to issue an apology for its military provocations and take due steps to take responsibility for them.

Pyongyang has repeatedly denied its involvement in the alleged torpedo attack on a South Korean warship last March, and has claimed its shelling attack on Yeonpyeong Island was for self- defense.

Source: Xinhua
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