No expectation from N.K.’s acceptance of Moon’s peace proposal: pro-N.K. paper

July 11, 2017

SEOUL, July 11 (Yonhap) — A pro-North Korean newspaper in Japan said Tuesday that President Moon Jae-in should not expect a positive response from Pyongyang to his latest reconciliatory proposal, as Seoul is still not giving up its submission to the United States.

The Chosun Sinbo also called on South Korea to end its joint annual military exercises with the U.S. if it hopes to prove its willingness to improve ties.

Moon unveiled a broad vision for bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula during his speech in Berlin last Thursday, two days after the North test-fired an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

“If the proposal is based on South Korea’s subversion to the U.S. and hostility toward the North, Seoul cannot expect Pyongyang’s positive response,” the newspaper said.

The paper serves as an unofficial mouthpiece for Pyongyang. North Korea’s state media has yet to unveil its official response to Moon’s proposal.

Moon proposed that the two Koreas mutually suspend acts of hostility along their tense border on the July 27 anniversary of the armistice treaty that ended conflict in the 1950-53 Korean War.

He also offered to hold reunions of families torn apart by the war on Oct. 4, Korea’s lunar fall harvest holiday and the 10th anniversary of the second inter-Korean summit.

The newspaper hinted that Moon’s handling of Seoul-Washington military drills would be a yardstick in the North’s decision on its policy with South Korea.

“South Korea should show a willingness to improve its relations with Pyongyang not by words, but with action,” it said. “It remains to be seen whether South Korea can make a decision to suspend the drills with the U.S., a main source of tension on the Korean Peninsula.”

Pyongyang has long denounced the joint military drills as a rehearsal for a northern invasion despite Seoul and Washington’s assurance that they are defensive in nature.

North Korea’s top envoy to India said in June that North Korea can place a moratorium on its nuclear and missile tests if the U.S. suspends the annual joint military drills. But Moon has rejected an idea of ending exercises with Washington.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr

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