North Korea proposes high-level talks with U.S.

Pyongyang, June 16 (Xinhua-ANI): The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Sunday proposed high-level talks with the United States "to defuse tension and realize regional peace and security on the Korean Peninsula," the official KCNA News agency reported.

"We, as a nuclear state, no matter others recognized or not, propose high-level talks between the DPRK and U.S. governments to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and establish regional peace and security," a spokesman of the DPRK's National Defense Commission (NDC) announced the proposal in a special statement.

The denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula shall never be "to denuclearize the north," the NDC noted.

"If the U.S. is truly interested in easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and securing peace and security in the region, including the U.S. mainland, it should not speak about holding talks or making contact on the basis of pre-conditions," the spokesman said.

Both sides could discuss issues of common concern, such as easing military tensions on the Korean Peninsula, replacing the armistice which ended the Korean War with a peace treaty, and the U.S.-advocated world "free of nuclear weapons," said the spokesman.

He also said that Washington could decide the date and venue of the talks, adding that "all developments depend on the responsible choice of the United States, which has worsened the situation on the Korean Peninsula until now."

The overture came five days after Pyongyang and Seoul canceled their high-level talks that had been planned for Wednesday and Thursday, citing differences over the rank of chief delegates to represent each side.

On June 6, the DPRK proposed inter-governmental meetings with South Korea on inter-Korean issues. The latter accepted the proposal the same day, hoping the talks will become an opportunity to help forge trust.

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have intensified since the DPRK launched a rocket on Dec. 12, 2012 and conducted its third nuclear test on Feb. 12, this year.

The 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, and left the Korean Peninsula remaining in a state of conflict and the two Koreas technically at war. (Xinhua-ANI)

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