S. Korea Demands North Apology

S. Korea Demands North ApologyS. Korea Demands North Apology

South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday she was still waiting for an apology from North Korea as marathon talks between the two sides over a recent spike in military tensions spilled into a third day.

Park said she wants Pyongyang to apologize for recent provocations, including landmine blasts that badly wounded two South Korean soldiers earlier this month, CNN reported.

“This is a matter of national security and safety of our people. This is not a matter where we can back down, even if North Korea maximizes its provocations and threatens security like it did in the past.”

The mines, which exploded in the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries, set off an antagonistic spiral. South Korea, a key US ally, responded by resuming propaganda broadcasts over the border for the first time in more than a decade, a move that infuriated Kim Jong-un’s government.

North Korea fired shells over the DMZ on Thursday, apparently aimed at the loudspeakers blaring the messages, setting off a brief exchange of fire. Pyongyang also set a deadline of Saturday evening for Seoul to turn the speakers off or face military action. However, the deadline passed without any reported incident.

  Marathon Talks

As the time approached, the two longtime foes announced high-level talks in Panmunjom, an abandoned village in the DMZ that now serves as a site for inter-Korean meetings.

After a break during the day on Sunday, the talks resumed that evening and continued through Monday morning and into the afternoon, according to the South Korean government.

Park took a hard stance in her comments Monday, saying the loudspeaker broadcasts would continue unless North Korea apologized for the recent provocations.

“Tough negotiations between high-level representatives of South and North Korea have been underway for many hours amid the grave security crisis on the Korean Peninsula,” Min Kyung-wook , a spokesman for Park’s office, said Monday, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.