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ROK to look out for DPRK's response to offer of dialogue

中国日报网 2013-04-15 12:16

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The Republic of Korea said on Sunday that it will be watching for a response from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea to its proposal to resolve rising tensions through dialogue, after Pyongyang's denunciation of the offer as a "cunning ploy".

"(The denunciation) was the initial reaction to our dialogue proposal," said a spokesperson for the Unification Ministry in charge of dialogue and cooperation with the DPRK.

The statement came after a spokesman for the DPRK's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea slammed the dialogue overtures by the ROK.

The spokesman said the dialogue proposal was a "cunning ploy to conceal the criminal wrongdoings that drove the Kaesong Industrial Complex into crisis, mislead public opinion inside and outside and hide the policy of confrontation".

He described the dialogue offer as a "blushless act" and an "empty shell", saying the ROK has never given any apology for the joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.

Tensions have been high for weeks, with Pyongyang threatening to attack Seoul and Washington for conducting joint military drills and supporting UN sanctions imposed on the DPRK for a February nuclear test.

While the threats are largely seen as rhetoric, US and ROK officials have said they believe the DPRK may test-fire a mid-range missile designed to reach the US territory of Guam.

Pyongyang also took a direct shot at Seoul by pulling more than 50,000 DPRK workers from their joint factory park on the border of Kaesong and denying ROK citizens access to the complex just north of the Demilitarized Zone.

The move has brought the ROK-run factories to a standstill, threatening a shutdown of the last joint project left between the two neighbors.

In terms of a possible missile test, US officials focused on the limits of Pyongyang's nuclear firepower on Friday, trying to shift attention from the disclosure that Pyongyang might be able to launch a nuclear strike. They insisted that while the unpredictable government might have rudimentary nuclear capabilities, it has not proven it has a weapon that could reach the US.

Questions:

1. What did Pyongyang denounce the offer as?

2. Why is Pyongyang threatening to attack Seoul and Washington?

3. How many DPRK workers did Pyongyang pull from the joint factory park?

Answers:

1. A “cunning ploy”.

2. For conducting joint military drills and supporting UN sanctions.

3. 50,000.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

About the broadcaster:

Emily Cheng is an editor at China Daily. She was born in Sydney, Australia and graduated from the University of Sydney with a degree in Media, English Literature and Politics. She has worked in the media industry since starting university and this is the third time she has settled abroad - she interned with a magazine in Hong Kong 2007 and studied at the University of Leeds in 2009.

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