The Korea Herald


S. Korea to contact N. Korea on abrupt cancellation of talks: minister

By Yonhap

Published : May 16, 2018 - 09:46

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South Korea will deliver its position to North Korea on its unilateral and abrupt decision to cancel the planned high-level inter-Korean talks, Seoul's unification minister said Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, the North's Korean Central News Agency said that it has canceled the high-level talks with the South planned to take place Wednesday, citing the ongoing joint military drills between South Korea and the United States. It also threatened to cancel summit talks with the US scheduled for June 12.

Asked if the Seoul government will make its stance clear on the North's decision, Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told reporters: "We will send our own message via fax. We are currently reviewing what content should be included in it."

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

In response to a question as to whether he will express regrets over the North's unilateral decision, Cho didn't provide direct answers, only saying that details are under review.

"At this moment, there is nothing more than what we have figured out from the things provided by the KCNA," he said. "Things should be looked into comprehensively."

The high-level inter-Korean talks scheduled for Wednesday was intended to discuss follow-up measures to the historic April 27 summit between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Moon and Kim signed a joint declaration in which they affirmed the goal of "complete" denuclearization, agreed to halt all hostile acts against each other, open a joint liaison office in the North's border city of Kaesong and vowed various economic cooperation efforts.

They also agreed to hold a reunion of families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War on the occasion of the Aug. 15 Liberation Day.

On Tuesday, the two Koreas announced the list of officials to join the Wednesday talks, including those handling transportation, railway, forest and cultural affairs.

With regard to concerns that the implementation of the agreements the two leaders reached could face a bumpy road, Cho remained optimistic, saying that things have just begun.

"We are just in the beginning stage," the minister said. "On the path toward denuclearization and peace, (I) think that there could be various situations."(Yonhap)