S. Korea sees no sincerity in N. Korea's dialogue offer: official

SEOUL, June 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea showed no sincerity in its offer to hold high-level talks with South Korea, keeps on bolstering its nuclear and missile capabilities, and could launch provocations depending on the situation, a top presidential security official said Friday.

"After constantly escalating tensions, North Korea had appeared to be making a dialogue offensive," Kim Jang-soo, the chief of national security at the presidential office, said during a report to the National Assembly. "But (the North) was not sincere as it unilaterally called off talks over the issue of chief delegates and shifted responsibility."

Early this month, North Korea made a surprise offer to hold high-level talks with South Korea, an abrupt about-face by a regime that had made near-daily war threats against Seoul and Washington while spurning repeated demands for talks to defuse tensions.

South Korea accepted the proposal and the two sides agreed to hold two days of meetings. But the agreement unraveled at the last minute as the sides failed to find a compromise over the level of chief delegates. Officials said Pyongyang insisted on sending a lower-level official while demanding the South send a Cabinet minister to the talks.

Kim also said that the North is bolstering its nuclear and missile capabilities.

"Depending on situational changes, we cannot rule out the possibility of provocations," he said.

The official also said that South Korea will work closely with other countries to resolve the North Korean nuclear standoff. In particular, Seoul plans to strengthen cooperation with China to denuclearize the North, he said.

Park plans to make a state visit to China next week for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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