DPRK proposed last month secret inter-Korean meeting: S. Korean official

08:21, June 16, 2011      

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South Korea's unification minister said Wednesday a secret inter-Korean meeting last month was proposed by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The two Koreas have been wrangling over the nature and agenda of their meeting in Beijing, with Pyongyang claiming Seoul officials "begged" for summits and even attempted to offer bribes for concessions.

Officials here dismissed the claim as "unilateral" and " unworthy of a response," only to prompt the DPRK to threaten to disclose recordings of their secret meeting to prove Seoul wrong.

"It was North Korea (DPRK) that had suggested the secret contact," minister Hyun In-take told the parliament, adding Pyongyang's claims are intended to embarrass the South Korean government and divide public opinion here.

Seoul officials have said the meeting was primarily aimed at persuading the DPRK to apologize for last year's two deadly incidents that killed 50 South Koreans.

South Korea has long demanded the DPRK apologize for the fatal sinking of its warship and shelling of an island near the disputed sea border off the west coast of the Korean peninsula last year, which altogether killed 50 South Koreans.

The DPRK has repeatedly denied its involvement in the sinking and claimed its artillery bombardment on the island was provoked by military drills between Seoul and Washington near the disputed western sea border.

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