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South Korea takes hard line in talks with North

South Korea takes hard line in talks with North
© Getty Images

South Korean President Park Geun-hye is demanding that North Korea apologize for recent provocations against her country, in a sign that Seoul is refusing to back down in a growing standoff on the Korean Peninsula.  

Without “a definite apology” from Pyongyang for land mines that injured two South Korean soldiers this month, Park said that her government will "take corresponding measures and continue the loudspeaker broadcasts” of propaganda that have blared across the globe’s most militarized border.

Park’s comments — which were reported by the Associated Press and the Korean Yonhap News Agency — came as high-level talks between the North and South continued into their third day. 

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Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have been high in recent weeks, after North Korea threatened war over the South’s resumption of propaganda loudspeakers for the first time in 11 years. 

After a brief volleying of artillery shells across the border last week, Pyongyang originally set a Saturday deadline for the South to either stop the broadcasts or prepare for war. 

That deadline came and went, however, with talks being held between the two neighbors, but no violence.

The stakes in the ongoing negotiations are high for both countries. Neither wants to be seen as backing down, but both nations are also wary of sparking the tinderbox of tensions between the two Koreas, which have technically been at war since the 1950s.  

The U.S. has also been on guard amid the crisis, and the Pentagon has put American troops stationed in South Korea on a heightened state of alert.

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se on Monday said that the South takes the North’s actions “very seriously,” according to Yonhap

The goal of the talks, he said, is to “prevent these kinds of violations in the future.”