Koreas in verbal duel over Park remark

Seoul, Sep 4 (IANS) South Korea and North Korea were on Friday engaged in a war of words less than 10 days after the two sides reached an agreement to defuse tensions over landmine blasts and the broadcasting of propaganda messages.

“It was regrettable for the North Korea to denounce what President Park Geun-hye said during her visit to China and threaten the failure to carry out what was agreed upon during the high-level inter-Korean dialogue,” Xinhua quoted Seoul’s Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee as saying on Friday.

His comments came a day after North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) condemned Park for her “impertinent” remarks.

During her visit to China, Park said tensions can escalate on the Korean Peninsula at any time as seen in the recent provocation of landmine blast.

In early August, two South Korean soldiers were maimed by the explosion of landmines, which Seoul claimed had been planted by North Korean forces. Pyongyang denied any role in the incident.

In retaliation for it, South Korea resumed broadcasting propaganda messages into the North Korea with loudspeakers in front-line units.

The two Koreas exchanged artillery fires, bringing the peninsula to the brink of armed conflict. Both sides put troops on the highest alert, but tensions de-escalated after marathon talks between top military officials of both sides.

The August 25 agreement, reached at the high-level dialogue, promised to ease tensions and resume talks between governments.

Working-level Red Cross contacts would be held on Monday to hold the reunion event for Korean families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

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