Seoul urges Moscow to press Pyongyang into loosening tensions on Korean peninsula
A Seoul official has called on the North Korean authorities to assume responsibility for the recent provocations on the border zone between the two Koreas and expressed hope that Russia will help prevent such incidents in the future.
"North Korea must admit its fault and assume responsibility for blowing up the South Korean patrol on a mine and the skirmish, assume responsibility for that and promise that it will not happen again. In this situation there are few countries in the world that talk to North Korea, so we expect that the Russian Federation will be able to persuade North Korea and tensions will subside. Russia has always tried to stop Pyongyang from carrying out such actions," a source in the South Korean government told Interfax on August 24.
"If North Korea continues not to admit its fault and to threaten South Korea, we, for our part, will not be able to promise a discontinuation of the propaganda broadcasting," he said.
"At the same time the South Korean government wants to settle the situation peacefully, through a dialogue. The government expresses its firm intention to discontinue the propaganda broadcasting, but on the condition that North Korea will promise not to stage anymore provocations," the source said.
When asked what the chances were of a deal being reached during the talks between high-ranking North and South Korea officials that are taking place in the demilitarized zone, the source said: "The main objective of the high-level inter-Korean talks is to mitigate the tensions on the Korean peninsula but the talks are still underway, there are few details."
The souce has said, that Seoul has no intention of giving up its practice of conducting joint military exercises with the United States due to the sharply negative reaction of North Korea towards them. "South Korea is conducting exercises with the purpose of defending itself. Every country has the right to conduct exercises independently or together with another country. Our exercises with the U.S. are conducted traditionally and regularly… The government of South Korea has the right to defend its country and adopt corresponding measures. For this reason the practice of conducting exercises will continue according to plan," the source said.