North Korea again urged South Korea to accept its proposal for military talks Saturday in its latest charm offensive toward Seoul.
In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), a ranking official from the country's ruling Workers' Party called on the Seoul government to accept the dialogue proposal made by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the recently concluded party congress.
"If South Korea is willing to improve its relations with the North, it should stop pursuing ulterior motives and come forward to have sincere talks (with North Korea)," Kim Ki-nam, a vice chairman of the Workers' Party, said in the released statement.
Kim also repeated the North's call on Washington to abandon what it calls a hostile U.S. policy toward Pyongyang, calling it "anachronistic."
The statement came one day after North Korea's National Defense Commission (NDC) pressured the South to respond to the dialogue proposal in an open letter also carried by KCNA.
Citing a need to ease military tension on the Korean peninsula, the North Korean leader proposed holding military talks with South Korea at the party congress that concluded its four-day run on May 9.
South Korea's unification ministry has rejected the offer as a propaganda ploy that lacks sincerity, while instead urging Pyongyang to first give up its nuclear ambitions.
Inter-Korean relations dipped to their lowest ebb after the communist North conducted its latest and fourth nuclear test in January, followed by its launch of a long-range rocket in February.
Seoul has consistently stressed that Pyongyang must first denuclearize if it hopes to bring peace and rapprochement to the divided peninsula.
The two Koreas technically remain at war as the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice agreement, not a peace treaty. (Yonhap)