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Seoul calls on Pyongyang to come to dialogue table

South Korea repeated its call for North Korea Thursday to come forward for dialogue as the North blamed the South for an absence of high-level inter-Korean talks following their August agreement to ease tension.

Seoul's reaction came as North Korea claimed Wednesday that South Korea has shifted the blame for having failed to hold high-level talks on Pyongyang, raising questions about Seoul's sincerity in improving inter-Korean ties.

The two Koreas reached a landmark deal on Aug. 25 to defuse military tension and hold high-level talks in either Seoul or Pyongyang as soon as possible. But the North has not responded to the South's proposals to hold a preparatory meeting for such high-level talks.

An official at the Unification Ministry called on North Korea to come to the dialogue table if the North wants to improve Seoul-Pyongyang relations.

"South Korea has kept the stance that it will make efforts to build trust and improve inter-Korean ties by implementing the August deal. On these grounds, the government has offered high-level talks," the official said, asking not to be named.

He said that the North should accept Seoul's offer for talks if it really hopes to have better ties with the South.

President Park Geun-hye said last week that she is open to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if the North shows sincerity in giving up its nuclear weapons program and improving inter-Korean ties. (Yonhap)