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ASIA > South Korea repels Kim’s olive branch

SEOUL - Agence France-Presse

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S Korean activists release a balloon carrying anti-North Korea leaflets.

S Korean activists release a balloon carrying anti-North Korea leaflets.

South Korea yesterday dismissed a rare New Year’s message from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “bland” despite his apparent overture to Seoul about reducing tensions.

“The message was bland and there were no ground-breaking proposals,” Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik told reporters.

In his address, North Korean leader Kim stressed the need to ease tensions between the two Koreas. “An important issue in putting an end to the division of the country and achieving its reunification is to remove confrontation between the North and the South,” Kim said.

Yu said Kim’s remarks may have been aimed at new or transitional leaderships in China, Japan and South Korea, but added that Seoul had good historical reasons for treating peace overtures warily. Efforts to engage Pyongyang with “good intentions” in the past had made little progress, he said.

January/03/2013

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