North Korea has rejected its southern neighbor’s offer to hold high-level talks on October 30, Yonhap news agency reported Wednesday.
“We express disappointment that it become difficult to open high-level talks on Oct. 30, as we proposed, due to North Korea’s attitude,” spokesman of South Korea’s Unification Ministry Lim Byeong-cheol said at a press briefing as quoted by the agency.
Pyongyang’s National Defense Commission sent a message to the South, accusing it of undermining the talks by scattering propaganda leaflets at the border, Yonhap said citing a source from the South’s unification ministry.
According to the source, the ministry responded that it is not going to control the distribution of propaganda flyers by activists, which is a substantial part of freedom of speech.
In mid-October, the two Koreas held talks at the level of army generals on easing military tensions. The South also reportedly suggested Pyongyang to hold high-level talks on October 30 in the border village of Panmunjom.
The Korean Peninsula is formally in a state of war, as no peace treaty was ever signed after the Korean War of 1950-1953. Relations between North and South Korea worsened in 2010, when the South Korean Cheonan warship was sunk in the Yellow Sea. A South Korean investigation determined the vessel was hit by a North Korean torpedo.