DPRK says ready to talk on all issues with South Korea*
January 15, 2011
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday said it is ready for discussions on all issues with South Korea, the official news agency KCNA reported.
"It is the stand of the north that the south side should come out for dialogue and discuss all the issues at the negotiating table, not making irrelevant remarks," the KCNA quoted a spokesman for the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea as saying.
The spokesman said there is nothing the north and south sides cannot settle if they sit face to face open-heartedly.
"The door of dialogue is open," said the spokesman, who urged the South to adopt a proper stance and honestly respond to the North's proposal for dialogue and measures of good faith.
South Korean authorities, who repeatedly accused the DPRK of lacking sincerity, were taking a negative stand towards the DPRK-proposed talks, the spokesperson said.
Although South Korea has agreed to open the Panmunjom Red Cross liaison channel, it took a cool attitude concerning the restart of the work of the office of the Consultative Council for North-South Economic Cooperation, and sent no personnel to the office and barred the use of its building, making the North side feel uncomfortable, the spokesman said.
There is no such sincere proposal as the one advanced by the north as it clarified that it is ready to meet anyone anytime and anywhere without any precondition and the South Korean authorities have not sent any formal proposal to the north, the spokesman added.
In a series of conciliatory gestures, the DPRK issued a statement on Jan. 5 proposing dialogue with the South to eliminate misunderstanding and distrust, as well as achieve peace and prosperity.
On Monday, Pyongyang sent official messages to the South to propose holding working-level government contacts in its border city of Kaesong on Jan. 27 to discuss the venue and date for future higher level government talks, and holding Red Cross dialogue on Feb. 1 in the South Korean border city of Munsan.
Ignoring Pyongyang's will, Seoul has been urging it to first adopt a "responsible attitude" toward its recent "provocations."