13:10 GMT +318 March 2018
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    A South Korean JSA guard (front R) and North Korean guard (L) stand guard opposite each other at the border of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas on September 25, 2013

    South Korea Deplores Pyongyang’s Refusal to Attend Security Talks

    © AFP 2018/ KIM DOO-HO
    Asia & Pacific
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    North Korea has refused to attend regional security conference in Seoul, a South Korean official said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Seoul regrets Pyongyang’s refusal to attend the regional security conference in September, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman said Monday.

    Last Friday, South Korea invited the North for the first time to take part in the Seoul Defense Dialogue (SDD) where 30 deputy defense ministers from across the region will discuss both local and global peace and security issues. Pyongyang said in a statement Sunday it will not go and called the talks politicized.

    "It was very regrettable to refuse our dialogue offer by the speaker and our invitation to the Seoul Defense Dialogue," spokesman Jeong Joon-hee said at a briefing, as cited by Xinhua.

    Jeong urged Pyongyang to accept Seoul’s repetitive calls for dialogue.

    The three-day security conference kicks off on September 9. It will be attended by Russian, Japanese and US officials, among others.

    Seoul and Pyongyang signed an armistice to stop hostilities in the 1950-1953 Korean War but have not negotiated or ratified a formal peace.


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