Korea-watchers had been holding their breath, after South Korea offered its pest-control services Tuesday to North Korea to help eradicate pests at ancient tombs in North Korea revered by those on both sides of the 38th Parallel. The unspecified pests are apparently killing pine trees surrounding the Koguryo tombs, located in the North’s cities of Pyongyang and Nampo. The tombs date from the Koguryo Kingdom, which controlled the northern half of the Korean Peninsula and northeastern China for more than 700 years until 668 A.D.
Unfortunately, the North has apparently spurned the offer. One of its news sites said Thursday that a pest-control summit could not take place because South Korea had banned another kind of meeting. Or perhaps the North Koreans were concerned just which kind of vermin the South would try to eliminate if permitted into the North with assorted poisons.