May 16, 2018 / 1:57 AM / in 4 months

South Korea says North's decision to suspend inter-Korean talks 'regrettable'

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea’s decision on Wednesday to suspend a ministerial-level inter-Korean meeting is regrettable and is not in line with a historic declaration announced between the two Koreas in late April, South Korea’s unification ministry said.

A banner bearing a unification flag hang on a barbed wire fence near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, May 16, 2018. The banner reads "We are one". REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji

“North Korea’s decision to unilaterally postpone high-level talks between the two Koreas citing an annual joint air drill between South Korea and the United States is not in line with the spirit of the Panmunjom Declaration and is regrettable,” ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said in a statement.

Baik urged the North to swiftly return to the talks. An official statement would be sent to North Korea some time on Wednesday, he said.

Reporting by Christine Kim; Editing by Paul Tait

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