N. Korea says dialogue with South ‘not open’

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Seoul, June 27 (IANS) North Korea on Thursday toughened its stance on neighbouring South Korea and said that dialogue between the two countries is not open and Pyongyang is in direct talks with Washington without mediation, denying Seouls statements on the matter.

Director-General of Department of American Affairs of North Korean Foreign Ministry, Kwon Jong-gun, said that Seoul was “trying to refurbish their image by giving a publicity as if they are ‘mediating’ the North Korea-US relations”, according to a statement released by state news agency KCNA.

“The South Korean authorities are now stirring up public opinion as if a sort of dialogue is being held between the North and the South,” Kwon added.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Wednesday said that the inter-Korean dialogue is ongoing through “diverse channels”.

He also said that the US and North Korea have “been engaged in dialogue in regard to a third summit” between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, and the two countries have been carrying out “behind-the-scenes talks” on the matter.

Kwon added that “the South Korean authorities have nothing to meddle in the dialogue” supposedly underway between Pyongyang and Washington and assured that relations with the White House “are moving forward on the basis of the personal relations between Comrade Chairman of the State Affairs Commission and the US President”.

Since the failure of the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam, Pyongyang has toughened its stance with Washington and Seoul in an apparent aim to resume negotiations with new proposals.

Kwon said that Washington “is now talking much about the North Korea-US dialogue, but in reality, it is becoming more and more desperate in its hostile acts against Pyongyang”.

“The North Korea-US dialogue would not open by itself though the US repeatedly talks about resumption of dialogue like a parrot without considering any realistic proposal that would fully conform with the interests of both sides,” he said.

Kwong added that as mentioned by Kim, the US should begin talks “with a correct method of calculation and the time limit is until the end of this year”.

Following the exchange of letters between Kim and Trump and with the latter’s visit to South Korea over the weekend, hopes of a possible dialogue and a third summit between the two have been revived.

–IANS

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