N. Korea blames faltering Kaesong talks on South

2013-07-18 06:37:06 GMT2013-07-18 14:37:06(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

North Korea accused the South Thursday of being insincere during their latest dialogue after the fourth working-level talks to reopen the shuttered joint Kaesong Industrial Complex ended without progress.

On Wednesday, the three-man delegations from each country held their fourth round of talks on the normalization of the factory park in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, a product of the landmark 2000 inter-Korean summit.

Seoul said the Wednesday talks again ended without a breakthrough because of the wide gap between the two countries in terms of resuming the joint factory zone, which has sat idle since the North withdrew its laborers in early April over Seoul's joint military drills in March.

"The South side took such very dishonest and insincere attitude as creating artificial hurdles in settling the issues, insisting only on the blame for the crisis in the zone and unilateral assurances against recurrence," the North's state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in an English dispatch.

"It only pretended to have the talks and keep them going on, thus making them fruitless," the KCNA report said. "The talks ended without fruit due to the unreasonable assertions and insincere attitude despite the North side's sincere efforts."

At the center of debate on the on-going talks is whether the North should commit itself to not cause another suspension of the joint factory park. Seoul wants an official commitment as well as institutional and legal guarantees to protect the safety and property rights of South Korean investors and workers in the Kaesong complex, located just north of the heavily fortified inter-Korean military demarcation line.

In their first working-level dialogue in early July, both sides agreed to work toward reviving the Kaesong Industrial Complex, but three following meetings have ended without progress.

Seoul said the North has continued to blame the South for the suspension and only demanded for the park to be reoperated swiftly.

As the on-going talks are prolonged, analysts in the South question the fate of the joint industrial complex, predicting that the dialogue may not lead to the resumption of the park anytime soon, given the wide disparity in opinions between the two countries.

During the Wednesday talks, the two Koreas agreed to meet again on Monday in order to continue their efforts to revive the park, seen here as the last remaining symbol of inter-Korean rapprochement.


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