News / Asia

2 Koreas Hotline Goes Silent Again

A South Korean army soldier walks near a sign showing the distance to the North Korean capital Pyongyang and to South's capital Seoul from Imjingang Station near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, June 12, 2013.A South Korean army soldier walks near a sign showing the distance to the North Korean capital Pyongyang and to South's capital Seoul from Imjingang Station near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, June 12, 2013.
x
A South Korean army soldier walks near a sign showing the distance to the North Korean capital Pyongyang and to South's capital Seoul from Imjingang Station near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, June 12, 2013.
A South Korean army soldier walks near a sign showing the distance to the North Korean capital Pyongyang and to South's capital Seoul from Imjingang Station near the border village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, June 12, 2013.
Red Cross Hotline at Panmunjom village
-Established in 1971
-North and South Korea would make contact two times a day
-North Korea has cut the line several times
-Was recently cut from March 2013 until June 8
-North Korea ignored calls June 12, 2013

Military Hotline
-Used to coordinate movement of people for Kaesong industrial complex
-Kaesong is operated in the North with South Korean money
-North Korea cut the line in 2009, leaving South Korean workers stranded in Kaesong
South Korea said the North is not answering an inter-governmental hotline that Pyongyang restored last week in an effort to coordinate negotiations. The apparent refusal of the North Koreans to communicate is dashing hopes that had soared in recent days of the two neighbors having a significant face-to-face high-level dialog.

South Korea said it twice rang the rival North on Wednesday on the recently reinstated Red Cross hotline at the Panmunjom truce village, but there was no answer.

Asked by a reporter if the talks - which had been scheduled for Wednesday - should be considered to have been canceled or postponed, South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae responded, “The talks are canceled.”

Ryoo, who was to have led Seoul's delegation, had Pyongyang also agreed to send a Cabinet-level official, said the cancellation means the government could not bring results South Koreans were expecting.

But, he said this should be seen as part of the pain of moving towards a new chapter in inter-Korean relations for peace and cooperation. The minister said North Korea should show sincerity for a new relationship between the two Koreas in the future.

Pyongyang notified Seoul on Tuesday that it would not send its delegation. The two Koreas found each other's proposal for the heads of their respective delegations unacceptable.

There has been no comment from Pyongyang since Seoul announced the talks were off.

Last week, North Korea surprised the South by suggesting dialog. A working-level meeting was quickly arranged at Panmunjom. It spanned 17 hours, Sunday and early Monday, and concluded with agreement for higher-level officials to meet just two days later in the South Korean capital.

It had been hoped the talks could lead to a lessening of tension on the Korean peninsula. North Korea is vowing to continue with its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development, in violation of international sanctions.

South Korea is protected under the American nuclear umbrella and has more than 28,000 uniformed U.S. military personnel in the country.

The peninsula has been divided along the 38th parallel since the end of the World War II, when Japan, the colonial occupier of Korea, was defeated.

A devastating three-year civil war in the early 1950's ended in stalemate. Since then, the two Koreas have not signed a peace treaty nor established diplomatic ties.

Steve Herman

A veteran journalist, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Lawi
X
William Ide
October 20, 2014 10:23 AM
China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Nigeria Agrees to Cease-Fire With Boko Haram

Islamist militant group Boko Haram and the Nigerian government have agreed to a cease-fire. The Nigerian government issued an order Friday, telling all military chiefs "to comply with the cease-fire agreement in all theaters of operations. Why now and the significance of the agreement are questions on some people’s minds. VOA's Mariama Diallo reports.
Video

Video Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from the town of Suruc a few kilometers from the border.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.

All About America

AppleAndroid