NATIONAL

Pyongyang threatens to disclose tapes of secret South-North talks

By 이선영
  • Published : Jun 9, 2011 - 19:18
  • Updated : Jun 9, 2011 - 19:18
North Korea on Thursday threatened to disclose voice recordings of a secret meeting with South Korea where it said rejected the South’s proposal to hold a series of summits.

“If all (South Korean officials who attended the meeting) refuse to admit the truth, we will have to disclose the full recordings of the contact,” the Korea Central News Agency, the north’s state news agency, reported, quoting a Pyongyang official as saying.

In a sudden exposure last week, Pyongyang said that the two Koreas held a secretive meeting in late May where Seoul officials proposed to hold three summits over the next year ― the first in late June at the border village of Panmunjeom, second in September in Pyongyang and third in Seoul on the sidelines of an international security summit.

As a precondition for the summits, the South’s officials had “begged” for any gesture from Pyongyang to appease South Koreans still angry over last year’s attacks which killed 50 of its citizens, the North claimed.

Seoul responded to the revelation by saying it did “not feel the need to react,” and accused the North of “distorting its true intensions.” It did not confirm or deny whether such an offer was actually made.

In Thursday’s KCNA report, the North Korean official claimed that Kim Chun-sik, a senior official at the South’s Unification Ministry, told North Korean participants that South Korean President Lee Myung-bak had ordered it himself to hold the talk to realize inter-Korean summits.

Kim is among the three officials from the South that the North claimed attended the clandestine meeting. Two others are President Lee’s top security advisor Kim Tae-hyo and National Intelligence Service official Hong Chang-hwa.

By Lee Sun-young (milaya@heraldcorp.com)