N. Korea Sets Preconditions for Talks with S. Korea

Seoul, September 15 (QNA) – North Korea demanded Monday that South Korea lift a set of economic sanctions and stop other “hostile” acts against Pyongyang as a precondition for high-level talks that Seoul has proposed.

In August, Seoul made an offer for a second round of high-level talks on the reunion of separated families and other pending inter-Korean issues, according to South Korea’s (Yonhap) News Agency.

In a commentary titled “Dialogue and confrontation can’t be compatible each other,” the North’s Rodong Sinmun state newspaper stressed that “the South’s May 24th Measure and suspension of a tour program to Mount Kumgang are hampering efforts for inter-Korean reconciliation.”
The May 24th Measure refers to tough economic sanctions imposed on the North for its 2010 deadly attack on a South Korean warship.

It has effectively put all inter-Korean economic projects on hold except for the joint venture in Kaesong.

The North’s demands came just a couple of days after North Korean officials stated that if the South wants dialogue, it should take measures to stop activists sending anti-communist leaflets via balloon across the border.

Officials here dismissed a claim that their government is backing civilian groups’ voluntary action. (QNA)

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