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N. Korea Rules Out Dialogue with S. Korea

North Korea has ruled out the prospect of any dialogue with South Korea, in retaliation for Seoul criticizing Pyongyang's human rights record.

The North's committee for South Korean affairs said in a statement carried by official media Saturday that there was no room for even considering holding talks.

It is not known whether Pyongyang's statement will endanger proposed talks about a joint industrial complex in Kaesong, just north of the border dividing the two countries.

The development comes as the South continues efforts to persuade the North to release a South Korean worker, detained since March 30 at the Kaesong complex for allegedly criticizing the North's government.

Earlier this year, a South Korean human rights envoy urged the North to respect universal rights. Pyongyang often bristles at any talk of its human rights record.

Relations between the two Koreas have deteriorated since a conservative government took office in Seoul in February of 2008. Since then, all key joint projects, except the Kaesong factory park, were suspended.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.