North Korea is rejecting a call for dialogue with South Korea. In an official
newspaper commentary, Pyongyang lashed out at Seoul's main official in charge of
North Korea policy.
lashed out at South Korean Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong Tuesday.
Pyongyang's official Rodung Shinmun newspaper described him as the leader of a
group of "confrontational fanatics with their bones filled up with
Kim is South Korea's chief policy official on North Korea. He
is visiting China to discuss topics such as stalled diplomacy to end North
Korea's nuclear weapons programs.
North Korea has sharpened its rhetoric
steadily toward the South since conservative President Lee Myung-bak took office
here in January. Pyongyang frequently refers to Mr. Lee as a "traitor," and said
in Tuesday's editorial he is surrounded by "lunatics mad for blood and extreme
hostility toward their own brethren."
South Korean Unification Ministry
spokesman Kim Ho-nyoun said Tuesday in Seoul, North Korea should examine its own
He says North Korea blames the South for a worsening in
inter-Korean ties, but it is actually the North's steps which have strained the
North Korea severely restricted border crossings
at the start of this month, and slashed the number of South Korean staff at a
joint industrial park in the city of Kaesong. Earlier this year, operations at a
joint tourism zone were suspended after North Korean soldiers shot a visiting
South Korean housewife and then refused to cooperate in an
U.S. and South Korean officials say the North has also
broken a key understanding in talks aimed at ending its nuclear weapons
programs. Pyongyang has refused to allow scientific sampling at suspected
nuclear sites, and so far will not commit to a written agreement about verifying
a nuclear declaration it made earlier this year.
North Korea accuses the
South's President Lee of failing to uphold a past summit agreement between the
two sides calling for massive aid and investment to the impoverished North. The
Lee administration has demanded more reciprocity on the nuclear and other issues
from Pyongyang in exchange for the South's assistance.