North Korea negotiator hails ‘turning-point’ for ties with South

The agreement between North Korea and South Korea came a few hours prior to the North Korean deadline for military action.


But South Korea’s lead negotiator, National Security Adviser Kim Kwan-Jin, insisted the expression of North Korean regret was “very meaningful” and said securing it had been the toughest part of the negotiating process.

The two sides agreed to hold a working-level Red Cross contact in early September for the reunion of families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War.

South Korean authorities must have learned the lesson through the high-level emergency contact”, said Hwang Pyong So, director of the General Political Bureau of the Korean People’s Army. North Korea takes the loudspeaker broadcasts seriously as it does not want its soldiers exposed to propaganda highlighting North Korean rights abuses and economic mismanagement, news from the outside world, and claims that defectors will be welcomed in South Korea.

“Unfiltered ideas about North Korea policy [reported by the press] are understood as our official position by North Korea, and it raises the bar set by the North at negotiating tables”, an official from the Unification Ministry said. Pyongyang said it regretted the land-mine blast earlier this month that injured two South Korean soldiers. The North’s war scenarios boil down to artillery attacks on Seoul, deployment of special warfare troops and attacking the rear using submarines as well as hovercraft carrying crack troops. The Hallyu country is promoting life in South Korea, with references to soap operas and stories about North Korean defectors being welcome in the South.

“I believe that’s an issue that can be fully discussed”, said Jeong Joon Hee, a spokesperson for the Unification Ministry, “if North Korea brings it to the table”.

“South Korea’s President Park Geun-hye said the deal ‘could serve as an occasion to resolve all inter-Korean issues through trust.’ North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has yet to release an official statement”. After decades of animosity and bloodshed, finding common ground is a challenge. However, the talks ended with North Korea agreeing to end its “quasi state of war” in exchange for Seoul stopping the broadcasts. Seoul responded by resuming anti-Pyongyang cross-border broadcasts for the first time in more than 10 years. North Korea has also moved to double artillery units along the border, which flies in the face of an agreement reached Monday between the two sides to gradually lift the “semi-state of war”.

The tourism project began in 1998 during an era of warmer ties and was a legitimate source of hard currency for the cash-strapped North, but Seoul suspended the tours in 2008 following the shooting death of a South Korean tourist there.


Previous agreements that appeared to offer a new way forward for inter-Korean relations have generally stumbled straight out of the gate. The country will also put its most modern weapons including armored vehicles, fighters and missile launchers on display, the report said.

Kim Yang-Gon North Korean official in charge of South Korea affairs