N.Korea foreign minister says S.Korea approach lacks sincerity: Yonhap

Reuters

Posted at Aug 07 2017 10:30 AM | Updated as of Aug 07 2017 10:59 AM

Intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Hwasong-14 is pictured during its second test-fire in this undated picture provided by KCNA in Pyongyang on July 29, 2017. KCNA via Reuters

SEOUL - North Korea's foreign minister Ri Yong-ho told his South Korean counterpart Kang Kyung-wha in a meeting on Sunday that Seoul's proposal to improve ties with the North "lacks sincerity", the South's Yonhap News Agency reported on Monday.

The two were speaking on the sidelines of a days-long event by foreign ministers in Southeast Asia that has been taking place since the weekend, Yonhap said.

South Korea's foreign ministry was not immediately able to confirm the report. 

Kang urged Ri to accept Seoul's offers of military talks to lower tensions on the divided peninsula, and for discussions on a new round of reunions for divided families.

But Ri retorted: "Given the current situation in which the South collaborates with the US to heap pressure on the North, such proposals lacked sincerity," the unnamed official was quoted as saying.

The encounter came a day after the UN Security Council passed sweeping sanctions on the North over its first successful test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which sparked global alarm.

The growing threat from the nuclear-armed North dominated the annual forum, which came days after the North's second ICBM test. -- with a report from Agence France-Presse