S. Korea rejects North’s ‘preconditions’ for talks

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SEOUL: South Korea on Monday spurned North Korea’s demands that Seoul should first remove cross-border sanctions and halt joint military drills with the United States before trying to hold inter-Korean dialogue. Since Seoul’s offer to hold high-level talks in late December, the North has repeatedly called for the lifting of the so-called May 24 sanctions and the suspension of annual joint military drills with the US without accepting or rejecting the overture. “Our government is not considering taking pre-emptive action toward those preconditions in order to coax the North to the negotiating table,” unification ministry spokesman Lim Byeong-cheol said in a briefing.

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