NK ne­go­tia­tor hails ‘turn­ing-point’ for ties with South

The China Post - - LIFE GUIDE POST -

One of the two North Korean ne­go­tia­tors in­volved in re­cent cri­sis talks with South Korea spoke Thurs­day of a “dra­matic turn­ing-point” for re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries.

In an up­beat and con­cil­ia­tory as­sess­ment of the agree­ment struck at the talks, Kim Yang-gon, a se­nior party of­fi­cial re­spon­si­ble for South Korean af­fairs, said it car­ried the po­ten­tial for a gen­uine im­prove­ment in cross-bor­der ties.

His com­ments,

re­ported by

the North’s of­fi­cial KCNA news agency, con­trasted with those of lead ne­go­tia­tor Hwang Py­ong So, who fo­cused on spin­ning the ac­cord as a vic­tory for the North and a salu­tary les­son for the South.

The deal struck in ne­go­ti­a­tions in the bor­der truce vil­lage of Pan­munjom Tues­day ended a tense mil­i­tary stand­off that had pushed the two Koreas to the brink of an armed clash.

Un­der the terms, Seoul switched off loud­speak­ers blast­ing pro­pa­ganda mes­sages across the bor­der af­ter the North ex­pressed re­gret over re­cent mine blasts that maimed two South Korean sol­diers.

In his as­sess­ment to KCNA, Kim said the deal had not only re­solved a “touc­hand-go sit­u­a­tion,” but also rep­re­sented a “dra­matic turn­ing-point for peace, sta­bil­ity, rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and co­op­er­a­tion.”

Stress­ing that “both sides” should learn a les­son from the re­cent cri­sis, Kim urged Seoul and Py­ongyang to be bold and avoid com­pla­cency, so as to main­tain the mo­men­tum pro­vided by the agree­ment. “We will ac­tively make ef­forts to im­prove re­la­tions,” he added.

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