North Korea says rejects South offer for summits

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 01, 2011 2:33 AM

SEOUL (Reuters) - Isolated North Korea rejected on Wednesday an offer by rival South Korea to hold a series of three summits in a bid to defuse tensions on the divided peninsula, state news agency KCNA reported.

Citing a spokesman for the National Defense Commission, KCNA said South Korea had proposed at a secret meeting in May holding three summits -- first at the border village of Panmunjom, secondly in the North's capital Pyongyang and lastly on the sidelines of an international nuclear summit in the South next year.

"We have made it clear there would never be a summit meeting as long as the South maintains a hostile policy and insists (North Korea) should abandon its nuclear program and apologize over the two incidents," KCNA said.

As a precondition for bilateral talks, Seoul demands the North apologize for two deadly attacks on the peninsula last year that killed 50 South Koreans. Pyongyang denies responsibility for one of the attacks, and says it was provoked into the other.

(Reporting by Jeremy Laurence; Editing by Alex Richardson)