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S Korean opposition leader urges gov't to unconditionally engage DPRK

06-03-2011 15:19 BJT

SEOUL, June 3 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's opposition leader urged the conservative government Friday to resume dialogue with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) without prior conditions.

"If the government truly wants dialogue with North Korea (DPRK), it should drop its hostile hard-line policy and begin unconditional dialogue and humanitarian aid," Kim Jin-pyo, floor leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, said in a speech at the parliament.

"The Democratic Party supports all efforts for dialogue, including summits, if they contribute to improving inter-Korean ties," added Kim, former finance minister in the previous liberal administration.

The remarks came after the DPRK claimed South Korean officials "begged" for inter-Korean summits during a secret meeting in Beijing.

Pyongyang made it clear there would never be a summit meeting as long as Seoul insists the DPRK dismantle its nuclear program and apologize for two deadly incidents last year, according to the state-run Korean Central News Agency on Wednesday.

South Korean officials said the "one-sided" claims were "unworthy of a response". The unification minister said Thursday the clandestine meeting was primarily aimed at persuading Pyongyang to apologize for the two deadly incidents last year so as to move forward.

South Korea has long demanded DPRK apologize for the fatal sinking of its warship and shelling of an island near the disputed sea border off the west coast of the Korean peninsula last year, which altogether killed 50 South Koreans.

The DPRK has repeatedly denied its involvement in the sinking and claimed its artillery bombardment on the island was provoked by military drills between Seoul and Washington near the disputed western sea border.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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