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N. Korean leader shows willingness to hold inter-Korean summit

N. Korean leader shows willingness to hold inter-Korean summit

Posted January. 02, 2015 09:42,   


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday showed his willingness to hold summit talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

"Depending on the mood and circumstances to be created, we have no reason not to hold the highest-level talks," he said in his New Year`s Day address nationally televised by the North’s state-run Korean Central Television.

“If South Korean authorities want to improve North-South relations through sincere dialogue, we can resume suspended high-level contacts and sectoral meetings,” he said.

The remarks appear to indicate Kim’s willingness to hold dialogue with the South. However, many experts say that Seoul needs to see Pyongyang’s actual moves, as the remarks are also interpreted as a suggestion that Seoul first meet the conditions for talks. They say there are many hidden stumbling blocks in Kim’s speech.

Kim also called for brisk negotiations and exchanges between the two Koreas to reconnect national bonds and bring a “great shift” in the inter-Korean relations, vowing to make his best efforts to make practical progress in inter-Korean talks.

The South Korean government plans to keep the positive embers for talks burning. Although the North Korean leader did not mention the South’s December 29 proposal of talks, Seoul views it as a signal that Kim did not reject the offer, claiming that Kim made the “reverse proposal offensive” in order to avoid being dragged into the South Korean president’s policy toward the North.

Seoul’s Unification Ministry said in a statement, "We hope North Korea responds to our dialogue offer if it has a genuine will to improve inter-Korean relations.” Regarding an inter-Korean summit, the ministry simply said it was not fully considering one yet.

Despite the gestures for talks, Kim urged Seoul to stop its “war maneuvers” including the South’s joint military exercises with the United States. “There is no need to say it twice that in a tense mood that such war-preparatory exercises, trust-based dialogue can`t be possible, and North-South relations can`t move forward,” he said, reiterating Pyongyang’s demand that Seoul and Washington stop the military exercises, including the Key Resolve to be held in March.

The North Korean leader also said he would seek to diversity the North’s external relations and actively push for the economic development zone projects including Mt. Kumgang and other tourist zones.