A South Korean official says North Korea has proposed a meeting, more
than a year after Pyongyang cut official contact when a conservative
government took office in South Korea.
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-Nyoun said North Korea proposed a
meeting in the Kaesong industrial zone, without specifying the talks
would be about.
South Korea's Yonhap media service says Seoul will attend the talks, proposed for Tuesday.
And South Korea has delayed its plan to join the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI),
aimed at stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Seoul had
said it would announce its total participation on Sunday, a move
planned in the aftermath of North Korea's controversial April 5 rocket
North Korea's official news service published a statement from an official (a spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army) reiterating an earlier warning that such a move would be seen as a declaration of war.
The Kaesong industrial park opened in 2005 and is the last remaining
reconciliatory venture between the two Koreas. But North Korea cut
official contact with the South and restricted border crossings when
President Lee Myung-bak took office last February with a tougher stance
on the North.
A South Korean man has been detained in the complex since late last
month after allegedly criticizing Pyongyang. North Korea has refused
South Korean officials access to detained man.
Relations between the two sides grew tenser after North Korea launched
a rocket on April 5. North Korea said it was a satellite but others
allege it was a test of a long-range ballistic missile.
North Korea announced Tuesday it would halt six-nation disarmament
talks and restart its nuclear program in retaliation for a U.N.
Security Council statement condemning the launch.