North Korea on Wednesday denied admitting responsibility for the mine incident that injured to South Korean soldiers in August, and called on South Korea to abstain from statements undermining inter-Korean relations.
The statement, released by the DPRK National Defense Commission Policy Department via the Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) criticized South Korean politicians’ interpretation of the agreement between the South and North, signed on August 24, and a South Korean military official’s statement calling for “beheading” the North Korean leadership if there are signs that the North may use weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons.
Contrary to what South Korean politicians have claimed, the North’s statement of regret was not an admission of guilt, the statement read.
“To summarize, ‘regret’ simply means ‘that’s too bad,'” the statement reads.
South Korea’s Ministry of Unification (MoU) previously stated that the expression of regret in an official agreement was exceptional, and Minister of Unification Hong Yong-pyo said that the South Korean government had been “clearly insured” against a recurrence of the incident.
The statement also criticized South Korean President Park Geun-hye’s reaction.
“It makes no sense for the South Korean leader to praise her own ‘resolute intention,’ and ‘the achievement created by the mature recognition of security, united under the policy of principle.'”
It described South Korea’s behavior as “without basic etiquette for a dialogue partner.”
One expert said that North Korea, like South Korea, is trying to use the agreement for its own interests.
“In diplomatic way, it is mutually acceptable to speak differently to one’s own citizens after agreeing on sensitive issues. (In this case) the difference of opinion was so great as to raise dissatisfaction in Pyongyang,” Cho Han-bum, senior researcher at the Korea Institute of National Unification told NK News.
Despite the criticism, though, Cho said North Korea won’t break the recent agreement.
“North Korea is sending a signal to stop the remarks, so as to keep Kim Jong Un from losing face in Pyongyang.”
On Tuesday and Wednesday, North Korean state-owned media outlet Uriminzokkiri unveiled two articles written by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, both arguing that the agreement should be implemented successfully and the inter-Korean relationship should develop.
The one released Wednesday criticized the “beheading strategy” and the U.S.-ROK Integrated Firepower Exercise that took place over the weekend, calling it a military provocation and a challenge to the recent agreement.
“If the U.S. sincerely welcomes recent agreement, it should have been proper to cancel the plan scheduled previously.”
The article published Tuesday repeatedly pointed out the value of recent agreement, saying it had great possibility and potential.
Featured image: KCNA
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