South Korea renewed its calls Friday for North Korea to accept a weeks-long offer to hold high-level talks as the communist country stayed mum on it and continued to blame the South for lingering inter-Korean tension.
In late December, Seoul proposed that the two Koreas hold high-level talks to discuss pending issues, including the arrangement of a reunion for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War around the Lunar New Year's Day that falls in mid-February.
No reply has come from the North so far, while the communist country continued to repeat its criticism over Seoul's scheduled joint military exercises with Washington and anti-Pyongyang leaflet scattering campaigns by South Korean private groups.
"Time is running out for (the two Koreas) to discuss the reunion of separated families for the New Year's Day season," Unification Ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said in a press briefing. "Therefore, I once again call on the North to come forward to respond to our offer of talks without further hesitation."
Asked whether inter-Korean talks are possible after the Lunar New Year's Day, Lim said that there is no set deadline for a reaction from the North.
"If enough time is secured for preparing a reunion, the reunion event could take place at any time (regardless of timing)," Lim also noted. (Yonhap)