North Korea took a swipe Sunday at South Korea's latest conciliatory proposals, saying the South should first deal with "fundamental" inter-Korean issues to mend cross-border relations.
The reaction from Pyongyang came two days after South Korean President Park Geun-hye proposed in her Liberation Day speech that the two Koreas join hands in cultural heritage preservation efforts. She also invited the North to an international convention on biological diversity to be held in South Korea in October.
During the speech marking the independence of what are now the two Koreas from Japan's 36-year colonial rule, Park also reiterated calls on the North to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
"What were included in the congratulatory speech are issues that are secondary and peripheral. (The speech) does not contain any pressing issues for improving inter-Korean relations or anything that meets the aspiration and need of South Korean citizens and the entire (Korean) people," said Pyongyang's propaganda website, Uriminzokkiri.
The commentary came as Seoul is scheduled to hold its annual joint military training with the U.S. next week. The North has repeatedly called on Seoul and Washington to cancel the Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises, claiming it is a rehearsal for an invasion of the North.
"In conclusion, it sidestepped the profound issues regarding mending North-South relations and the unification, and it is not worth even a minute of discussion," the website said in a commentary.
Seoul's proposals are only a repeat of what the South Korean president said previously as a trust-building process and in her Dresden Declaration, the North said, calling on Seoul to abide by past reconciliatory inter-Korean agreements.
The North, however, has yet to officially accept or dismiss other proposals.
The North has not responded to Seoul's proposal last week to hold high-level inter-Korean talks to discuss the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War and other matters of "mutual concern." (Yonhap)