Updated January. 18, 2014 05:55
Two Koreas are intensifying "2014 tug of war" to gain the upper hand in their rivalry. They are snubbing the other sides offer, and instead making counteroffer, a practice resulting from mutual distrust. The second year of the Park Geun-hye administration will likely face an uphill battle in its push to kick start trust building process on the Korean Peninsula.
The South Korean government on Friday rejected Pyongyangs "important suggestion," saying, It is regrettable that (the North) is misguiding public opinion by distorting facts and making groundless accusations. At around 7:50 p.m. on Thursday, the North made surprise suggestions in the name of its National Defense Commission, including complete halt of slandering from January 30; suspension of hostile activities, including South Korea-U.S. military drills; and practical measures to prevent nuclear disasters. However, the South negatively reacted in a way mentioned above. Seouls reaction was coordinated at a foreign affairs and national security policy coordination meeting chaired by Kim Jang-soo, chief of the presidential national security office, held on Thursday night. The response is said to have been reported to President Park Geun-hye who is paying state visit to India.
Unification Ministry Spokesman Kim Ui-do also refuted the Norths suggestions item by item on Friday. He lodged rather strong criticism, and listed up activities the North must take to display sincerity of its offer for dialogue. It was North Korea that has been constantly slandering the South by violating agreement between the two Koreas to stop slandering. Please keep in mind that mutual trust between South and North Korea is not rhetoric but must be demonstrated through acts, Kim said. Only verbally suggesting to improve inter-Korean relations while continuously slandering (the South), and proposing (us) to refrain from slandering before slandering (us) is a practice where words and acts are incompatible.