South Korea demands apology from North Korea

Seoul, Aug 24 (IANS) South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday has asked North Korea to apologise for alleged provocations as emergency contact between the two sides continues.

“Apology and recurrence prevention for any provocative act, including North Korea landmine provocation, is the most important thing,” Xinhua quoted Park as saying during a meeting with senior presidential secretaries.

Seoul would never yield to Pyongyang though the latter maximises provocations and poses threats to security as seen in the past.

She said “clear apology and recurrence prevention” would be needed to cut off the past repetition of provocations and unstable situations.

Without North Korea’s apology and pledge to prevent recurrence South Korea will continue to broadcast pro-democracy messages with loudspeakers in frontline areas, said Park.

Her comments came amid the ongoing emergency contact between her chief security advisor Kim Kwan-jin and top North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s chief military aide Hwang Pyong So, which has lasted for more than 19 hours from late Sunday at the border village of Panmunjom.

“South Korea and the US now continue to closely watch the Korean Peninsula’s crisis situation, and are flexibly reviewing the timing of the deployment of US strategic military assets,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said.

Two South Korean soldiers were maimed on August 4 by the blast of landmines inside the demilitarised zone (DMZ), which Seoul claimed had been deliberately planted by North Korean forces.

On August 10, South Korea resumed blasting propaganda messages into North Korea in response to the landmine blast, and the North Korea called it “a declaration of war”.

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