South Korea has not given up on the six-party talks, but there must be tangible progress before talks can be resumed, a senior diplomat said Monday at the World Journalists Conference in Seoul.
“The history of the six-party talks has seen far more failure than success. North Korea should be more responsible with its actions and words,” South Korean Vice Foreign Minister Cho Tae-yong told journalists from around the world at a special lecture during the second World Journalists Conference, hosted by the Journalists Association of Korea.
|Participants of the second World Journalists Conference, which opened at the Korea Press Center Monday, listen to a lecture on Korea’s public policy by Yu Hyun-seok, president of the Korea Foundation. (Yonhap)|
“North Korea should now know South Korea will not accommodate unreasonable demands for the sake of reaching agreements,” Cho added.
The remark came as ties between South and North Korea are at their lowest ebb in years, following the North’s third nuclear test early last year.
Pyeongyang has called for the resumption of six-party talks “without preconditions.” South Korea, however, has called on the North to show sincerity toward denuclearization before the forum can reopen. The six-party forum, which includes the two Koreas, the U.S., China, Russia and Japan, has been stalled since late 2008.
The annual conference, designed to explore the role of journalism in reunifying Korea, brought together about 100 reporters from 50 countries for the six-day event to exchange opinions on inter-Korean relations.
The group will visit historical sites including the Demilitarized Zone and Bulguksa Temple. Selected reporters will tour the Dokdo Islets in the East Sea which are the focus of a territorial dispute between South Korea and Japan.
By Ock Hyun-ju (firstname.lastname@example.org)