South Korea cannot pursue dialogue and confrontation with Pyongyang simultaneously, the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said on Friday.
Pyongyang claimed that Seoul should learn the lessons from the “cursed crimes of ‘Yusin’ dictatorship which made a severe obstacle to the future of the inter-Korean relations and unification movement.”
“Yunsin dictatorship” refers to the government of former South Korean President Park Chung-hee, the father of impeached former President Park Geun-hye.
But in an apparent nod to the new administration of Moon Jae-in, the editorial insisted that peaceful unification can’t be achieved if the South “follows the outsiders which attempt to divide and infiltrate the DPRK.”
“The anti-unification crimes of Yusin dictatorship – which claimed to stand for the dialogue in front and pursued submission to the powerful and betrayal of the nation – can’t be repeated on this land,” KCNA said in a Korean-language dispatch.
The U.S. and South Korea have agreed to hold a summit in Washington D.C. in late June and to seek “bold and practical” means to denuclearize the North.
Pyongyang said Seoul should “firmly split with the old-fashioned era” of following foreign powers and being hostile to Pyongyang.
“Dialogue and confrontation can never coexist.”
The North also called for the South to “figure out correctly who is the genuine enemy to our nation.”
The new government in Seoul, which was inaugurated on Wednesday, has said it hopes to pursue both engagement with and pressure on North Korea, with new President Moon saying he would visit Pyongyang under “the right circumstances” at his inaugural address on May 10.
But Moon has also said his government would “never accept” and “sternly deal with” the North’s “provocation and nuclear threat”.
South Korea’s Ministry of Unification (MOU) on Friday said it’s “not desirable” for the government to comment on the KCNA editorial.
“It is important, however, for the North to stop nuclear and missile provocation to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to show a changed position, to peacefully resolve the issue of the Korean peninsula,” Lee Duk-haeng, a spokesperson for the Unification Ministry, told media during a regular news briefing.
The message to the Seoul came less than 10 hours later after the DPRK publicly criticized the Moon government’s response to its test-firing of the Hwasong-12 ballistic missile on Sunday.
In the statement released by a spokesman for the government-backed Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee (KAPPC), Pyongyang said on Thursday that Seoul had “behaved indecently,” referring to a National Security Council (NSC) meeting presided by Moon and the government’s condemnation of the test.
“What has strike us dumb is the new South Korean government ignoring the historical meaning of this test launch, agreeing enthusiastically with outsiders,” KCNA said in a Korean- language dispatch.
The North also dismissed arguments that the missile launch was related to the inauguration of the Moon government.
“There are even ludicrous statements in South Korea – which claims our new rocket launch is a test of the new government – is only an absurd silly talk stemming from ignorance and misunderstanding about us,” KCNA said.
“Measures for bolstering self-defense capabilities is not an issue which can be stopped or slowed down when the U.S. administration is replaced and the regime is changed in South Korea.”
Pyongyang also said the South Korean government made their complaint “blindly” and that their “disgraceful behavior is ridiculous and a pity.”
The MOU on Friday urged the North to respond to the efforts of the international community to achieve peace and stability on the Korean peninsula through denuclearization and the improvement of inter-Korean relations.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: Rodong Sinmun
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