North Korea rejects South Korea’s offer of talks

July 13th, 2008 - 7:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, July 13 (DPA) North Korea has rejected an offer by South Korean President Lee Myun Bak to restart reconciliation talks, South Korean media reported Sunday, quoting the official North Korean daily Rodong Sinmun. A commentary in the Rodong Sinmun criticised the offer as “rhetorical deception”, and called Lee a “traitor”, accusing him of adopting a “confrontational North Korea policy”.

In a speech to parliament Friday, Lee urged North Korea to again take up reconciliation talks with Seoul in the wake of recent progress in nuclear talks with Pyongyang.

His government is ready to discuss the implementation of agreements made at the 2000 and 2007 summits between the two countries as well as aid for impoverished North Korea, Lee said.

The North Korean newspaper said the speech was not worth considering, adding there was already a mechanism in place to implement agreements previously reached.

Relations with North Korea have cooled since the conservative Lee took office in February. Lee favours a tougher course against the North than his liberal predecessors.

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