S Korea welcomes North's readiness for high-level talks
Iran Press TV
Tue Jan 6, 2015 2:31PM
Seoul has welcomed a recent announcement by Pyongyang that it is prepared to take part in bilateral talks of the "highest-level," calling on its northern neighbor to show commitment to dialogue.
On Tuesday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye welcomed the announcement made by North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, during his New Year's address last week.
'I consider it a good thing that North Korea, in its New Year speech, expressed a more affirmative attitude in engaging in dialogue,' Park said.
The South Korean president, however, added that Pyongyang should "quickly come forward for inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation and substantially handle with us specific projects for the establishment of peace and unification on the Korean Peninsula.'
During his traditional New Year message delivered on January 1, the North Korean leader said his country had no reason not to hold the highest-level talks as proposed by the South, adding that Pyongyang would make "every effort to advance dialogue and negotiations."
However, Kim said talks would advance on certain conditions, including the stoppage of the South's annual joint military exercises with Washington, as well as an end to "slandering" the North's government.
Tensions have been on the rise over the Seoul-Washington joint military drills, with Pyongyang denouncing the move as amounting to an 'intrusion into the North.'
The Korean Peninsula has been locked in a cycle of escalating military rhetoric since the 1950-1953 Korean War. No peace deal has been signed since then, meaning that the two countries remain technically at war.
The two Koreas last held high-level negotiations in February 2014. Those talks resulted in a reunion of families separated by the Korean War. The two Koreas had earlier agreed to restart dialogue when a top-ranking North Korean delegation made a surprise visit to the Asian Games held in South Korea in October 2014.
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