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N. Korea shuts out options for any talks

THE Democratic People's Republic of Korea said it would not even consider talking with the Republic of Korea, lashing out at Seoul for criticizing its human rights record.

South Korea had been planning to propose talks on the two countries' troubled joint industrial complex, but the statement put any such talks in doubt.

"There is no room for even considering dialogue between the South and the North," the North's committee for South Korean affairs said in a statement, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. It accused the South of trying to sully its reputation by calling attention to North Korea's "non-existent" human rights abuses. It pointed to a South Korean human rights envoy's suggestion that his government establish refugee camps to house fleeing North Koreans.

Relations have deteriorated since South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak took office in February last year.


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