Without giving a response to South Korea's recent proposal for talks, North Korea on Thursday laid out specific measures Seoul should take to improve inter-Korean ties.
In a statement, the North's agency in charge of inter-Korean relations called on the South to cancel the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercise with the United States, warning that a failure to do so would push the Korean peninsula "to the brink of war."
The annual military drills, which Pyongyang calls practice for an invasion, are scheduled to begin August 18th.
The Committee for Peaceful Reunification of Korea urged the South to remove what they said were "unreasonable institutional mechanisms blocking the contact, visits, cooperation and exchange between the north and the south," a reference to a set of sanctions imposed on Pyongyang following the sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010.
An official at South Korea's unification ministry said the ministry does not feel the need to address such demands by the North and said Pyongyang should accept Seoul's proposal for talks if it really wants improved inter-Korean ties.
South Korea proposed high-level talks next Tuesday to discuss a range of pending issues, including a possible round of reunions for families separated by the Korean War.
Although the North remains tight-lipped on the offer, it did note the South Korean government should demonstrate its desire for improved ties through practical actions, rather than in words.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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