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PM says Pyongyang's dialogue offer 'deceiving'

 Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn on Saturday condemned North Korea's latest test of mid-range missiles, saying that the North's provocation proves its offer to hold inter-Korean dialogue is a fraudulent act.

"Although years have passed since the cease of gunfire, our security remains unstable as a divided country," Hwang said during a speech to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn gives a speech to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Korean War. (Yonhap)
Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn gives a speech to commemorate the 66th anniversary of the Korean War. (Yonhap)
The two Koreas technically remain at war to this day, since the Korean War ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.

On Wednesday, North Korea fired off what is believed to be two Musudan mid-range missiles from near the city of Wonsan on its eastern coast. The latest launches follow four failed launches of the Musudan missile since April.

Since Pyongyang held a rare party congress in May, it has made several proposals to hold inter-Korea talks. But South Korea dismissed them as propaganda ploys without sincerity, calling for the North to give up its nuclear weapons first.

"North Korea's reckless provocation showed how deceiving its offer to hold inter-Korean dialogue is," said Hwang.

"The government will protect the peace of the Korean Peninsula against North Korea's provocations based on thorough preparations and cooperation with the international community," he went on to say, highlighting the importance of the sanctions on Pyongyang rolled out by the United Nations.

Hwang added Seoul will not sit idle after North Korea's provocations, saying it will take all necessary measures to have Pyongyang give up its nuclear ambitions.

He also vowed to expand support for war veterans, adding South Korea will also continue to express gratitude to the allies who stood on Seoul's side during the war.

South Korea's rival parties paid tribute to those who lost their lives while fighting the war, calling for strengthening the defense posture against the North's possible provocations.

"Tensions on the peninsula have run long due to Pyongyang's nuclear and missile development. Beefing up national security has become more important than ever," said Ji Sang-wuk, spokesman at the ruling Saenuri Party.

The main opposition Minjoo Party of Korea said that South Korea needs to strengthen its national security against North Korea's military threats, but also stressed the need to seek dialogue with the communist country.

"Peace should be set on the basis of strong national security. The first step (toward peace) would start from dialog with North Korea," said Song Ok-joo, spokeswoman for the party. (Yonhap)