North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he was open to a high-level summit with South Korea, days after Seoul proposed a resumption of dialogue, Reuters reported.
“If South Korean authorities sincerely want to improve relations between North and South Korea through talks, we can resume stalled high-level meetings,” Kim said in a New Year address state media broadcast Thursday.
“If the atmosphere and environment is there, there is no reason not to hold a high-level summit,” Kim said.
South Korea proposed Monday to resume stalled talks with the North this month to cover issues including reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.
The two Koreas have remained technically at war, as the Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Reunification of the Korean peninsula has been a stated priority for both governments.
A South Korean government statement later in the day said if North Korea was “sincere” about improved relations, it should accept Seoul’s earlier proposal for dialogue “as soon as possible”.
North Korea has, in the past, signaled intent to improve relations with the South, but provocations from the North or US-South Korean military exercises have stalled progress, the report said.
“Annual large-scale war exercises are a source of heightened tensions on the Korean peninsula and increase the threat of nuclear war,” Kim said in the speech.
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