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S Korea expresses regret over DPRK's decision to shut border
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The South Korean government expressed regret Wednesday over Pyongyang's decision to close the inter-Korean border and appealing for resumption of inter-Korean talks.

The military of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) delivered a message to the South Korean side earlier in the day. The DPRK side said it decided to "strictly restrict and cut off all the overland passages" through the inter-Korean border from Dec. 1, with criticism on South Korea's confrontation measures against the DPRK.

The South Korean Unification Ministry expressed regret over DPRK's decision in a statement.

The South Korean side looks forward to holding dialogues between the two governments and believes the decision of shut inter-Korean border will leave negative impact onto the inter- Korea relations, the statement said.

Since South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office in February, Seoul and Pyongyang have failed to hold any government talks. The DPRK has repeatedly denounced that the Lee Myung-bak administration's hardline policy towards Pyongyang caused deterioration of the inter-Korean cooperations.

An unnamed official of the Presidential Office told local media on Wednesday that the South Korean side regrets DPRK's "unilateral move" to close the inter-Korean border and urged the DPRK to return to dialogue on the government level for discussion on promoting co-existence and co-prosperity on the Korean Peninsula.

The official said it is not clear yet whether the DPRK means to close the inter-Korean industrial complex in DPRK's border city of Kaesong and South Korean tour program to Kaesong.

(Xinhua News Agency November 12, 2008)

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