NK rejects dialogue offer
North Korea rejected South Korea’s offer for working-level talks about the fate of a long-suspended joint tour program to Mount Geumgang, insisting on discussing the matter in writing, the unification ministry said Tuesday.
South Korea made the dialogue offer on Monday in a counterproposal to North Korea’s demand that Seoul remove all of its long-abandoned facilities from the mountain resort in an apparent threat to end the joint business.
“The North said that it is not necessary to hold separate working-level talks we proposed earlier and insisted on reaching an agreement (on the removal issue) through the exchange of documents,” the ministry said in a text message sent to reporters.
“The government will draw up countermeasures on the Mount Geumgang matter in close consultation with relevant business operators with a principle that any inter-Korean issues should be resolved through dialogue and consultations,” it added. The North sent notices detailing its stance earlier in the day to the ministry and Hyundai Asan Corp., which operated the tour program to the mountain until the project was suspended in 2008.