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North Korea ignores Seoul deadline for talks

Friday - 4/26/2013, 1:03am  ET

North Korean soldiers salute in front of Kumsusan Palace of the Sun, the mausoleum where the bodies of the late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il lie embalmed, in Pyongyang on Thursday, April 25, 2013. North Korea on Thursday marked the 81st anniversary of the founding of its military, which began as an anti-Japanese militia and now has an estimated 1.2-million troops. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea says Pyongyang has ignored Seoul's deadline for responding to a demand for talks on a shuttered inter-Korean factory park.

Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk said Friday that Seoul is considering countermeasures but refused to discuss what they might be.

Pyongyang barred South Korean managers and cargo from entering North Korea's Kaesong factory complex this month and recalled 53,000 North Korean workers. Seoul promised unspecified "grave measures" if Pyongyang didn't respond to its demand for talks by noon Friday (0300GMT).

Some analysts said Seoul may pull out the roughly 175 South Korean managers who remain at the complex.

The suspension came amid weeks of North Korean threats aimed at Washington and Seoul over joint military drills and U.N. sanctions meant to penalize Pyongyang over its February nuclear test.


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