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View more articles by Dagyum Ji
Dagyum Ji is a senior NK News correspondent based in Seoul. She previously worked for Reuters TV.
North Korean state media on Thursday dismissed the Moon Jae-in administration’s efforts to improve inter-Korean relations as containing a “lack of logic and act of deceiving public opinion,” in an article in ruling party organ the Rodong Sinmun.
The daily newspaper criticized the South Korean government for “showing obsolete confrontational attitude” toward Pyongyang “while dancing to the U.S. and conservative group’s tune.”
“The North and South can’t achieve reconciliation and unity if [Seoul] is hostile to the same race and pursues a confrontation with foreign powers,” the Rodong Sinmun said.
“The South Korean government mentioning the improvement in relations, while publicly showing enmity toward the counterpart (Pyongyang) and expressing their intention to confront, does not hold water and is an act of deceiving public opinion.”
The party organ said the Moon government “created obstacles for reconciliation and unity of the nation” instead of “learning lessons” from the Park Geun-hye administration.
Rodong Sinmun also criticized South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s recent visits to the U.S. and his recent speech in Berlin.
“The fact that South Korean chief executive (President)… clamored about the coordination with U.S. over the nuclear issue and misled the public opinion in Germany that the dismantlement of the nuclear program is a ‘fundamental condition’ for peace on the Korean peninsula… also proves it.”
Pyongyang also argued the Moon administration was no different from the administrations of Lee Myung-bak and Park Geun-hye, “which were immersed in antagonism and confrontation ideas about the same race.”
Rodong said that the “liquidation of evil practices of confrontation and the hostility” were preconditions for reconciliation and unity between the two Koreas.
“We will be willing to go hand in hand with anyone those who values the nation and takes the initiative resolutely.”
The commentary came three days after a South Korean proposal to the North on talks to ease military tensions and discuss the reunion of separated families.
Seoul hopes that talks will take place on July 21 and August 1, but the Ministry of National Defense (MND) confirmed to media on Thursday morning that Pyongyang was yet to respond to the offer of military talks.
The South Korean military said that they would wait until Thursday evening for a response, and the Ministry of Unification (MOU) told NK News that calls to North Korean counterparts at the Panmunjom liaison office had so far gone unanswered.
President Moon reiterated on Wednesday that Seoul would “take the initiative” in dialogue on humanitarian cooperation with Pyongyang, regardless of North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons and missile tests.
The Moon administration’s attempts to reach out to the North have largely been met with hostility. North Korean ruling party newspaper the Rodong Sinmun publishing an extended editorial over the weekend dismissing recent overtures by Seoul as “sophistry”.
Edited by Oliver Hotham
Featured Image: South Korean government