Three South Korean civic groups were originally supposed to meet with their North Korean counterparts this week in Chinese city of Shenyang.
Those are the South Korean Committee for Implementation of the June 15th Joint Declaration, the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, and the Movement for One Korea.
Each of them was to meet with their respective North Korean counterpart for one or two days from Thursday until Sunday.
But as they arrived in Shenyang on Thursday, the North unilaterally called off all the meetings.
Later in the day, one of the three groups the South Korean Committee for Implementation of the June 15th Declaration -- had the chance to talk with its North Korean counterpart.
The committee says it had some "frank" talks with the North Korean committee and the Overseas committee.
There, the North explained they had to cancel the scheduled meetings because the objectives were being distorted through South Korean media.
They said they wanted to discuss ways to resolve the current impasse in inter-Korean relations but South Korean media were highlighting some other (quote)"secondary" issues.
Meanwhile, the South Korean Implementation Committee says the three sides shared concerns about the lull in inter-Korean diplomacy.
They agreed they face a (quote)"grave situation" now where inter-Korean ties could either move forward or make a U-turn to the past.
The groups promised to sincerely implement inter-Korean summit declarations (quote)"autonomously."
The word "autonomous" is a term North Korea uses to urge the South to stop heeding what the U.S. thinks in cooperating with the North.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.