The chief delegates of the two Koreas shake hands before the high-level talks on Tuesday. (Photo: Yonhap news)
The Democratic people's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday slammed South Korean President Moon Jae-in for praising U.S. roles in pressuring Pyongyang to the recent inter-Korean talks.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary that "ill-boding remarks chilling the atmosphere for reconciliation are heard from South Korea" during Moon's new year press conference last week.
The KCNA criticized Moon for "thanking" U.S. President Donald Trump for playing a role in bringing Pyongyang to the inter-Korean talks through maximum pressure and sanctions, as well as his call for "denuclearization" of the DPRK as the final goal of the talks.
"It is needless to say that the new year press briefing of the South Korean chief executive was to curry favor with his discontent master," said the KCNA in an unusually harsh tone towards Moon one week after the first high level inter-Korean talks were held in two years.
Saying that the two sides have just "begun to kindle the flame for reconciliation," the commentary charged that Moon's attitude "casts doubt as to his intent to improve the north-south ties and build confidence."
The talks resulted in agreements on cooperation in the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and the two sides also agreed to take measures to ease tension on the Korean Peninsula.
The KCNA also accused South Korea of letting the United States send another nuclear aircraft carrier, Stennis, to the West Pacific during the Peyongchang Olympics, despite its agreement with Washington to postpone joint military drills during the games.
"We will as ever strive to improve the north-south ties but will never remain an on-looker to sordid acts of chilling the efforts," it said.
"They should know that train and bus for carrying our delegation to the Olympics are still in Pyongyang," it warned.