Seoul talks tough as North, South Korea hold marathon crisis talks
South Korean President, Park Geun-hye, has demanded that North Korea should apologise over recent landmine blasts, even as the bitter rivals held marathon talks to defuse tensions that have brought the peninsula back to the brink of armed conflict.
He said on Monday in Seoul that anti-North propaganda broadcasts would continue, unless Pyongyang took responsibility for landmine explosions in early August that wounded two South Korean soldiers in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating the two countries.
“We need a clear apology and measures to prevent a recurrence of these provocations and tense situations.
“Otherwise, this government will take appropriate steps and continue loudspeaker broadcasts,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, North Korea has denied laying the mines.
North Korea threatened military action in response to annual exercises by U.S. and South Korean forces two years ago, leading to a standoff during which U.S. stealth bombers flew over South Korea and an aircraft carrier was sent to the area.
Seoul and Pyongyang have remained technically in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean war ended in a truce, rather than a peace treaty.
The landmine blasts escalated into a crisis that saw both sides exchange artillery fire on Thursday and ramp up their military readiness.
The United Nations, U.S. and the North’s lone major ally, China, have all called for calm.
Kim Min-seok, South Korean Defence Ministry Spokesman said at a press conference that government’s position was to deter the North’s provocation.
He warned that if they wage provocation, South Korean response would be merciless and they would truly feel sorry.