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N. Korea proposes inter-Korean dialogue in early future

North Korea on Saturday renewed its call for an early resumption of dialogue between the divided Koreas, proposing to hold such talks at least within a month.

The North earlier proposed "unconditional and early" resumption of talks between the two Koreas to defuse tension that arose after the North's sinking of a South Korean warship in March and then its bombing of a populated South Korean island in November.

The sinking of the Cheonan left 46 South Korean sailors dead with the November shelling of Yeonpyeong Island killing four South Koreans, including two civilians.

"We formally propose an unconditional and early opening of the talks between the authorities of the North and the South," the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland (KPRF) said in a statement.

The committee said the date, venue and level of official dialogue between the governments of the two Koreas may be decided under a bilateral agreement.

The North Korean committee also proposed holding Red Cross talks in the North's border town of Kaesong "at the end of January or in the first half of February" to discuss the resumption of tours to a South Korea-built resort in the North's Mount Kumgang, a valuable source of income for the impoverished North. 

(Yonhap News)
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