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, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

You May Like

Video Positive Messaging Helps Revamp Ethiopia's Image

In country once connected with war, poverty, famine, headlines now focus on fast-growing economy, diplomatic reputation More

Russian Activist Thinks Kremlin Ordered Nemtsov's Death

Alexei Navalny says comments of Russian liberals who think government wasn't involved are 'nonsense.' More

Video Land Disputes Rise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers 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.
Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Imagei
X
Marthe van der Wolf
March 03, 2015 9:03 PM
Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Prepare to Defend Mariupol

Despite the ongoing ceasefire in Ukraine, soldiers in the city of Mariupol fear that pro-Russian separatists may be getting ready to attack. The separatists must take or encircle the city if they wish to gain land access to Crimea, which was annexed by Russia early last year. But Ukrainian forces, many of them volunteers, say they are determined to defend it. Patrick Wells reports from Mariupol.
Video

Video Moscow Restaurants Suffer in Bad Economy, Look for Opportunity

As low oil prices and Western sanctions force Russia's economy into recession, thousands of Moscow restaurants are expected to close their doors. Restaurant owners face rents tied to foreign currency, while rising food prices mean Russians are spending less when they dine out. One entrepreneur in Moscow has started a dinner kit delivery service for those who want to cook at home to save money but not skimp on quality. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Presidential Hopefuls Battle for Conservative Hearts and Minds

One after another, presumptive Republican presidential contenders auditioned for conservative support this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference held outside Washington. The rhetoric was tough as a large field of potential candidates tried to woo conservative support with red-meat attacks on President Barack Obama and Democrats in Congress. VOA Political Columnist Jim Malone takes a look.
Video

Video Southern US Cities Preserve Civil Rights Heritage to Boost Tourism

There has been a surge of interest in the American civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s, thanks in part to the Hollywood motion picture "Selma." Five decades later, communities in the South are embracing the dark chapters of their past with hopes of luring tourism dollars. VOA's Chris Simkins reports.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More