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Sunday, October 11, 2020, 17:59
ROK urges DPRK to stick to pacts preventing armed clashes
By Reuters
Sunday, October 11, 2020, 17:59 By Reuters

This June 9, 2020 photograph shows a guard post (top) of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea looking out at a military fence (bottom) of the Republic of Korea as seen from the border city of Paju. (STR / YONHAP / AFP)

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea (ROK) urged the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)  on Sunday to stick to agreements that bar armed clashes between the neighbors, in comments made a day after the DPRK unveiled new strategic and tactical weapons at a predawn military parade.

The massive parade on the 75th anniversary of the founding of the DPRK’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea showed off new weapons, including an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM).

ROK’s presidential Blue House said it held an emergency meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the weapons and a speech by DPRK leader Kim Jong-un

ALSO READ: DPRK stages military parade to mark WPK's 75th anniversary

ROK’s presidential Blue House said it held an emergency meeting of the National Security Council to discuss the weapons and a speech by DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un.

“We emphasized various agreements made between the South and the North to prevent armed conflicts and war,” it said in a statement.

Although Kim vowed in his speech to continue building his military might, he said he hoped the neighbors would hold hands again after the end of the coronavirus pandemic.

The parade and speech came as the neighbors are at odds over the killing last month of an ROK fisheries official by the DPRK’s troops after he went missing, an incident that shocked and enraged many in the ROK.

Seoul called for a joint investigation after finding that the soldiers killed the man and set him on fire, though Pyongyang said they just burned a flotation device he was using.

ALSO READ: Moon hopes to resume talks with DPRK after shooting incident

On Sunday, the Blue House urged the DPRK to respond its request for investigation.

In a separate statement, Seoul’s Unification Ministry, which handles cross-border affairs, said Kim’s speech would lead to peace and better ties, and expressed hopes for a resumption of dialogue on issues such as the shooting incident, cooperation over virus response and humanitarian aid.

The defence ministry expressed concerns about the DPRK’s newly unveiled weapons, however, saying it would conduct detailed analysis with the United States. 

READ MORE: Brother of slain ROK official rebuffs claim he tried to defect


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