S. Korea offer for high-level talks with N. Korea goes unansweredUpdated: 2014-08-19 14:33:59 (KST)
South Korea's much-anticipated high-level talks with North Korea on Tuesday failed to take place, as the offer went unanswered by Pyongyang.
Despite the North's apparent rejection for dialogue, the South Korean government laid out detailed plans for fresh inter-Korean economic cooperation.
A report submitted to the National Assembly by the unification ministry on Monday contains reconstruction projects for the highway that connects the border town of Kaesong to Pyongyang and the railway that links Kaesong to the northern city of Sinuiju.
The report also hinted at a possible lifting of sanctions, saying Seoul would be open to resuming trade and existing business with the North. and pursuing new ventures depending on the state of inter-Korean ties.
Seoul imposed heavy economic sanctions on Pyongyang in 2010, after North Korea's torpedo attack on a South Korean warship.
Speaking before lawmakers Monday, Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae made clear these sanctions will not be lifted until Pyongyang comes to the negotiating table.
But experts have ruled out the possibility of any dialogue before joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington end next Friday.
They say new momentum in inter-Korean relations may come in September, when a large North Korean delegation will participate in the Incheon Asian Games, raising hopes that sports diplomacy could be more effective than political outreach.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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