06/04/2015, 00.00
KOREA
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Joint celebrations for the anniversary of the first meeting between Seoul and Pyongyang called off

The two governments were willing to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the meeting between Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung, launched as part of the "Sunshine Policy" that cooled tension on the peninsula. Worsening of diplomatic relations between the countries, at risk the commemoration of the end of World War II.

Seoul (AsiaNews) - The governments of the two Koreas have failed to reach an agreement to organize a joint  commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the meeting between the leaders of Seoul and Pyongyang, in 2000, which launched the "Sunshine Policy" andhelped to cool tensions on the Korean peninsula. Civil groups in both countries had made "every effort" to reach an agreement, later rejected by both governments.

Talks were held in Shenyang, China, and at first had led to high hopes. "Unless there is a change in the fundamental position of the South" claimed a representative at the talks from North Korea, "no amount of working-level contact to prepare for the event will bring good results. The government of the South is indifferent to the event’s venue and setting unnecessary preconditions".

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Stalinist regime led by Kim Jong-un, has published an editorial citing the joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, as  "the real culprit of the worsening of the situation". For its part, Seoul has repeatedly called the continued military tension caused by the missile launches of the North Korean Army  as an " unacceptable provocation ".

The joint commemoration was scheduled for June 15, when in 2000 the then Korean leader (Kim Jong-il for the North and Kim Dae-jung for the South) met in Pyongyang in the first inter-Korean summit since the separation of the Peninsula, in 1950. That event paved the way for so-called "Sunshine Policy", the policy of detente launched by Seoul, which the current president in Seoul (Park Geun-hye) has repeatedly made clear her nation does not want to pursue.

The diplomatic stalemate  threatens the joint commemoration of the end of anniversary of liberation, and according to some sources the Korean leaders had been willing to travel to Beijing for the celebrations.

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