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North Korea issues guarded response to President Moon Jae-in's peace initiative Updated: 2017-07-16 08:56:45 KST

North Korea has given a relatively low-key response to South Korean President Moon Jae-in's vision for re-engagement with Pyongyang.
A commentary in the Rodong Sinmun, the paper of the North's ruling Workers' Party, criticized the so-called Berlin Declaration -- calling it confrontational. and an obstacle to improving inter-Korean relations.
During his visit to Germany to attend the G20 summit last week, President Moon laid out his peace initiative that seeks cross-border rapprochement through exchanges and dialogue while getting North Korea on the path to denuclearization.
But despite the criticism, some here in Seoul say the fact that North Korea refuted each point of the declaration rather that rejecting it outright indicates that the regime is interested.
The commentary also contained a positive statement -- saying that it's fortunate that the Moon Jae-in administration respects the landmark joint declarations between the two signed during inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007 -- and noting that he is taking a different stance than his predecessors.
In regards to dialogue and reunions of families separated by the Korean War, as well as other civil exchanges, the North's commentary said there needs to be a fundamental shift in policy and stance towards Pyongyang.
Kim Min-ji, Arirang News.
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