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N. Korea calls for improved ties with S. Korea, revival of economy

North Korea called Saturday for improvement in its relations with South Korea and a "full-scale offensive" to revive its moribund economy in its New Year message.

"Confrontation between north and south should be defused as early as possible," the North said in the joint editorial of its three leading newspapers, Rodong Sinmun, Joson Inmingun and Chongnyon Jonwi, adding nothing is "more vital" than reunifying the Koreas.

The relations between the divided countries remain at the worst point in years after the North bombarded a South Korean border island and killed four people on Nov. 23 last year.

"Active efforts should be made to create an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation between north and south by placing the common interests of the nation above anything else," the editorial said, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

Stressing light industries are the "major front," the North said standards of living for its people should be improved ahead of 2012, the year Pyongyang has designated as a moment in its history to rise as "a great, prosperous and powerful country."

The editorial reiterated that the North remains willing to work toward the denuclearization of the country, saying it is "consistent in its stand and will to achieve peace in Northeast Asia and denuclearization of the whole of the Korean peninsula." (Yonhapnews)


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