South Korea rejects North Korea's proposal to cancel military drills with U.S.Updated: 2014-01-17 15:07:02 (KST)
A day after North Korea made what it called an "important proposal" to stop cross-border slanging matches, South Korea expressed its regret over Pyongyang's attempts to mislead the South Korean public by distorting the facts.
Unification Ministry spokesperson Kim Eui-do said Friday that it was North Korea that violated a similar inter-Korean agreement in the past.
"North Korea called for an end to cross-border slandering in its New Year's speech two weeks ago, but it still throws insults and threatens South Korea. The North must remember that trust between the two Koreas will be built through action and not through words."
In its proposal Thursday, the North's National Defence Commission suggested the two Koreas stop throwing insults at each other as of January 30th.
The North also said it would initiate steps to ease military tensions if Seoul called off its annual joint military exercises with Washington that take place in early spring.
This offer was also flatly turned down by the South.
"Our military drills are annual defensive training exercises carried out by a sovereign state and we officially notify neighboring countries, including North Korea, every year as is the international custom."
In regards to North Korea's nuclear program, Seoul said Pyongyang is threatening peace on the Korean peninsula with its nuclear ambitions and added the regime must take practical steps towards denuclearization.
As for the resumption of family reunions for those separated since the Korean War, South Korea says it is a humanitarian issue that should be dealt with separately from political tensions.
It said a swift resumption of the reunions would be a first step toward friendlier inter-Korean relations.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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