Inter-Korean relations remain frosty six years after Oct. 4th Declaration
Six years after the two Koreas adopted the October 4th Declaration, not much progress has been made in inter-Korean relations.
Signed by President Roh Moo-hyun and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, the declaration lists 45 tasks for the two Koreas, such as establishing a special peace and cooperation zone in the West Sea and shifting the current Korean War Armistice to a peace treaty.
But with most of the projects deemed unrealistic and too costly, much of the agreement has virtually been scrapped.
That's put a damper on the outlook for inter-Korean ties.
And, following weeks of thawing relations, the two sides are back at odds after North Korea suddenly called off a round of planned reunions for families separated during the Korean War.
In its state-run daily Rodong Sinmun, North Korea on Wednesday slammed a massive military parade staged by South Korea this week to mark the 65th Armed Forces Day, calling it "a confrontational act that could trigger a war."
In a separate publication, the North's committee overseeing inter-Korean relations called President Park Geun-hye's Armed Forces Day speech "a serious provocation that defies efforts for dialogue and peace on the Korean peninsula."
President Park had vowed to build a strong deterrence against Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.
Meanwhile, Seoul, Washington and Tokyo are scheduled to hold an annual joint naval drill next week, which could further upset Pyongyang.
But amid the escalating tensions, a U.S. expert who recently held informal talks with North Korean officials in London over the resumption of stalled six-nation denuclearization talks, said North Korea wants to return to the negotiating table, but added that the challenge is convincing Pyongyang to let go of its nuclear weapons and related technology.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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