North Korea warns South Korea of 'painful' consequences as tensions mount

WION Web Team
Seoul, South Korea Updated: Jun 13, 2020, 01:56 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

South Korea has been the target of a wave of angry statements recently from the North, which has accused Seoul of allowing defectors to launch leaflets critical of leader Kim Jong Un into its territory.

North Korea on Saturday issued another angry statement against Seoul, this time excoriating it for "nonsensical" statements on the stalled dialogue about Pyongyang's nuclear weapons.

A top North Korean official warned that the country would soon take ''painful'' retaliation against South Korea, saying that its trust in Seoul to uphold inter-Korean agreements has been ''shattered'' by the government’s failure to stop activists from sending anti-regime leaflets into its territory.

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In a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) ahead of Monday’s 20th anniversary of the first inter-Korean summit, Pyongyang dismissed Seoul’s efforts to stop NGOs from launching balloons and bottles carrying anti-DPRK literature as ''lip-service.''

''The times ahead will be truly regrettable and painful for the South Korean authorities,'' the statement, reportedly delivered by head of the United Front Department (UFD) Jang Geum Chol, read, accusing South Korea of having ''no will'' to implement previous inter-Korean agreements.

''The confidence that [we] tried so hard to have in the South Korean authorities has been shattered,'' he added. ''We really don’t want to stand face to face with them as they often talk tall as if to achieve something great but fail in taking even a step in practice.''

''The recent incident has smashed to pieces the confidence in the south Korean authorities that we have made so much effort to build.''

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A meeting of South Korea’s Blue House earlier in the week aimed at taking steps  to curb the launch of the balloons by activists, Jang said, was insincere.

South Korea has been the target of a wave of angry statements recently from the North, which has accused Seoul of allowing defectors to launch leaflets critical of leader Kim Jong Un into its territory.

The latest statement was in response to a South Korean foreign ministry official reportedly saying Seoul would continue "efforts for denuclearisation", referring to the long-stalled nuclear talks between the United States and North Korea.

"It is really preposterous to hear the balderdash of south Korean authorities... who do not have either any qualification to discuss, or... poke their noses into the matters between" Pyongyang and Washington, Kwon Jong Gun, the North's foreign affairs official in charge of negotiating with the US, said in a statement.

Kwon denounced Seoul for trying to "meddle" in the process in the statement, which was carried by North Korea's official KCNA news agency and concluded with the warning: "It is better to stop a nonsensical talking about denuclearization."

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