News / Asia

Koreas Exchange Blame on Factory Talks Breakdown

Kim Kiwoong, right, the head of South Korea's working-level delegation, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Park Chol Su after their meeting at Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee in Kaesong, North Korea, July 25, 2013.
Kim Kiwoong, right, the head of South Korea's working-level delegation, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Park Chol Su after their meeting at Kaesong Industrial District Management Committee in Kaesong, North Korea, July 25, 2013.
Daniel Schearf
— North Korea is not responding to South Korea's proposal for a final round of talks to try to re-open their joint industrial zone in Kaesong. Negotiations between the two Koreas broke down last week with both sides blaming the other.
 
North Korea gave no immediate response to South Korea's offer Monday for one more round of negotiations on their jointly run industrial complex in Kaesong.
 
South Korea's Unification Ministry said the official message was sent to North Korea through the border village of Panmunjom with no proposed date, time or venue.
 
North Korea acknowledged receiving the message but gave no reply.
 
South Korea's Unification Ministry Sunday repeated threats of “grave consequences” for the factory complex if North Korea did not change its attitude.
 
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk urged Pyongyang to make the right choice for the project and for inter-Korean relations.
 
He said Seoul has emphasized that North Korea must guarantee that it will not take unilateral measures such as restricting access or withdrawing employees in order to resolve the difficulties of companies in the Kaesong Industrial Complex and for constructive normalization. He said they have urged North Korea to express its clear stance on preventing the recurrence of this situation.
 
Kaesong was the only resilient symbol of inter-Korean cooperation though years of political and military tensions.
 
But in April Pyongyang withdrew its 53,000 workers, citing insults to its dignity and tensions over South Korea-United States military exercises.
 
Analysts said a response to tougher United Nations sanctions for its third nuclear test, in February, was a more likely reason.
 
The two Koreas have held six rounds of talks this month on how to re-open the jointly run industrial complex.
 
The last one, on Thursday, ended bitterly when the North accused the South of being “arrogant” and causing negotiations to break down.
 
North Korean negotiators threatened to re-station soldiers at the industrial park that were pulled out after it opened in 2004.
 
A brief scuffle broke out when South Korean officials tried to stop the North Koreans from distributing internal documents from the talks to journalists.
 
Despite the tough language from Seoul, South Korea on Sunday confirmed it would allow millions of dollars in food and medical aid be sent to the North.

The Unification Ministry announced it would give over six million dollars in humanitarian aid for the North's malnourished children and pregnant women. Spokesman Kim said a private organization would also be allowed to donate over a million dollars in food and medical aid for kids.
 
As for the humanitarian aid to North Korea, he said, it was announced through the statement of the Unification Minister. He said they will support the process by having discussions with the private group as soon as the discussion about North Korea and procedures for humanitarian aid are completed.
 
Also Monday, Korea's Yonhap news agency reported former U.S. president Jimmy Carter will soon travel to North Korea to help secure the release of Kenneth Bae.
 
Bae, a Korean-American tour operator, was arrested in November and charged with trying to overthrow the communist government. Pyongyang says Bae is a Christian missionary and was preaching in the North, where communist doctrine is hostile to religion and churches are strictly controlled.
 
Despite having poor health, Bae was sentenced in April to 15 years of hard labor.
 
Observers believe Bae is being used by Pyongyang as a bargaining chip to try to re-start direct talks with the United States over its nuclear programs.
 
Former president Carters and Clinton have made previous visits to North Korea to bring home other detained Americans, acting as private citizens.
 
Washington said it will not return to talks with Pyongyang until it demonstrates sincerity to give up its nuclear plans.

VOA Seoul Bureau Producer Youmi Kim contributed to this report

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid