Wednesday, August 2, 2017

North Korea says 'no' to joint celebration of holiday with South

korea National Liberation Day on Aug. 15
 North Korea declined an offer from the South to jointly celebrate National Liberation Day on Aug. 15, a holiday observed in both Koreas to mark the end of Japanese colonial rule.

A South Korean representative of the June 15 Joint Declaration Committee said Wednesday the organization had received a message from Pyongyang regarding the invitation for a joint celebration, News 1 reported.

"We received word from North Korea that it would be difficult to hold a joint National Liberation Day event," the spokesman said.

According to the committee, the North Korean side sent its faxed response Friday, declining the opportunity because of joint U.S.-South Korea military exercises in August.

The South Korean committee had earlier suggested working-level talks in a third country.

Lack of North Korean interest in easing tensions through civic engagement means Seoul and Pyongyang will be celebrating the annual holiday separately.

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