North Korea said on Friday that it has no desire to talk with South Korea, criticizing President Moon Jae-in’s Liberation Day speech and blaming Seoul for its joint military exercise with the US.
The spokesperson of the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country said in a statement that it was delusional to think that inter-Korean talks could resume after the military drills, calling Moon an “impudent guy rare to be found.”
“South Korean authorities are snooping about to fish in troubled waters in future DPRK-US dialogue, dreaming that the phase of dialogue would naturally come after the joint military exercises like the change of seasons,” the Korean version of the statement said, which was carried by the North’s Korean Central News Agency.
“As it will be clear, we have nothing more to talk about with South Korean authorities and we have no desire to sit down with them again.”
Shortly after issuing the statement, Pyongyang launched at least two projectiles into the East Sea on Friday.
Referring to Moon as “the South Korean official who just reads what other people wrote for him” without mentioning his name, the spokesman said Moon was entirely to blame for the loss of momentum in inter-Korean talks.
Moon said in his Liberation Day speech a day earlier that even if there is a cause for dissatisfaction, it is by no means desirable to make dialogue difficult by spoiling the mood or erecting barriers.
The North has conducted a series of missile tests in recent weeks in an apparent protest against the South Korea-US drills.
Mentioning the joint exercise that ends later this month and the South Korean Defense Ministry’s recently announced mid-term plans, the North’s spokesman said: “All of this is clearly aimed at annihilating us.”
On the first day of the joint military drills on Aug. 11, the North issued a statement in the name of its Foreign Ministry director, saying inter-Korean contacts would not resume before the South suspends the joint exercise or provides an explanation for it.
As with the Aug. 11 statement, the North did not have its domestic media such as the Rodong Sinmun or the Korean Central Television carry Friday’s statement.
The North on Friday dismissed Moon’s Liberation Day speech as rhetorical and thoughtless.
“He went on with thoughtless words that had nothing to do with Liberation Day, saying the dialogue atmosphere was not marred despite some recent worrisome acts of North Korea and that things had changed from the past, when a single provocation by North Korea shook the peninsula,” the spokesman said in the Korean version of the text.
“In the speech, he failed to put forward any proper measures against the insult by the Japanese islanders and any ways to overcome the worsening economic situation, and only played with words.”
By Kim So-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)