SEOUL -- South Korean officials, responding to North Korea's escalating war of words, Friday stressed the need for mutual respect for achieving prosperity.
South Korean Unification Minister Kim Ha-joong said the South is prepared to wait until its "true intention" of achieving cooperation and co-prosperity with North Korea are understood, Yonhap news agency reported.
He, along with South Korea's new President Lee Myung-bak, have been the main targets of North Korea's attacks in recent weeks.
Kim said North Korea has misunderstood his country's position.
"Our position toward mutual respect and co-prosperity between the two Koreas remains firm," he said. "Pyongyang will come to fully understand if it listens to what we have in mind."
North Korea Thursday talked of "military countermeasures" after South Korean military refused to apologize for its general's hypothetical remark on pre-emptive strikes against the North's nuclear sites, Yonhap reported.
North Korea's communist party organ Rodong Shinmun bitterly attacked Lee, who has taken a hard-line stand on North Korea's denuclearization.
Last week, North Korea expelled 11 South Korean officials from a jointly run industrial complex and test fired several short-range missiles.
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