(Vatican Radio) There's further uncertainty on the Korean peninsula today, days after North and South Korea were getting set for historic talks. Now, North Korea is accusing the South of "discourtesy" and blaming it for the talks' collapse.
Listen to the report by Vatican Radio’s regional correspondent Alastair Wanklyn….
The talks were meant to discuss the future of a joint industrial zone and what North Korean state television called humanitarian questions. But planners failed to agree on who should represent the two sides in Seoul on Wednesday, and the talks never took place. Now North Korea has blamed the South, saying it never had any intention of talking. South Korea explains it differently, saying it proposed that each side should send a minister, and that the North balked at the suggestion that it should send someone so senior. It's unclear whether the talks could still take place in the near future. It's thought that North Korea is under pressure from its main ally, China, to patch up relations with the South after weeks of war talk. And some observers are encouraged that it came close to holding talks at all, given how low relations plunged this Spring. Both South Korea and the United States have maintained they're ready to talk -- if Pyongyang shows good faith towards meeting international demands for disarmament.