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N. Korea blames South for ruining bilateral ties

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Published : 2014-06-15 15:37
Updated : 2014-06-15 15:37

North Korea on Sunday criticized South Korean President Park Geun-hye's policy toward the communist country that it said has led to a collapse of inter-Korean relations.

Pyongyang's denunciation was made on the 14th anniversary of a joint declaration at their landmark summit in June 2000 that paved the way for eased military tensions and economic cooperation between the sides after decades of hostility.

The summit agreement, known as the June 15 South-North Joint Declaration, came at the end of their first-ever summit. In the accord, the two sides pledged to seek greater exchanges and cooperation across one of the world's most heavily fortified borders.

The summit unleashed a flurry of economic and other cooperation projects, and the two sides held their second summit in 2007. But the reconciliation process came to a halt after former South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office in 2008 with a hardline policy on Pyongyang. The conservative Lee administration was succeeded by Park in February 2013.

"The June 15 joint declaration is a great program for reunification common to the nation," the North's official newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, said in a front-page editorial. "However, after the anti-DPRK conservative forces came to power again in South Korea, the North-South relations were brought back to the era of confrontation and hostility."

DPRK is the acronym of the North's official name, Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Notably, it claimed, the Park Geun-hye regime is behaving so foolishly as to peddle such anti-reunification watchwords as "confidence-building process on the Korean Peninsula" and "Dresden declaration" in breach of the declaration and get international recognition.

The so-called Korean Peninsula trust-building process is Park's trademark North Korea policy that calls for dialogue and exchanges to build trust between the two Koreas.

During a visit to the East German city of Dresden in March, Park made the Dresden proposal, holding out the prospect of the South increasing humanitarian assistance to and building infrastructure in North Korea if trust builds between the sides.

The North Korean newspaper further said there is no change in Pyongyang's position to improve inter-Korean ties, and achieve rapprochement and national unification according to the joint summit declaration.

Inter-Korean ties are at their lowest ebb in years.

In late May, the two Koreas exchanged fire near their tense western sea border in their latest military tit-for-tat, though no casualties were reported.

In early May, the sides also traded accusations over a trio of small drones found crashed recently on the southern side of the inter-Korean border. South Korea said the North sent the drones over the border, but the North has denied any involvement and accused South Korea of fabricating the incidents.

South and North Korea remain technically in a state of war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. (Yonhap)

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