North Korea claims 'important proposal' is not disguised peace offensiveUpdated: 2014-01-24 PM 5:51:54 (KST)
North Korea says South Korea should not thoughtlessly doubt and rashly reject the sincere "important proposal" it made last week to improve inter-Korean relations.
Last week, Pyongyang offered to halt all cross-border slandering and asked Seoul to call off its annual joint military drills with Washington that take place between February and March.
The offer was turned down flat by the South, which called it a disguised peace offensive.
In an open letter addressed to South Korea on Friday, the North's powerful National Defense Commission said it had already halted all acts of slandering South Korea.
North Korea has yet to react to comments made by President Park Geun-hye regarding the North during her trip to India and Switzerland and the state-run Rodong Shinmun newspaper has not published columns criticizing the South this week.
It went on to say the North did not urge Seoul to stop ordinary military drills but to halt drills for a war staged in collusion with outside forces.
It said North Korea will first implement practical measures to end all hostile military acts that could aggravate the South.
The letter claimed Pyongyang's nuclear program is purely defensive in nature and reiterated that its will for denuclearization should not be doubted.
It stressed Pyongyang is determined to create an atmosphere of reconciliation, completely halt hostile military acts, realize the reunion of separated families and to resume tours to Mount Kumgangsan in the North.
Experts say this letter could be an attempt by the North to pressure the South Korean government into accepting its proposal by stressing its legitimacy.
In an apparent extension of its attempt, Sin Son-ho, the North Korean ambassador to the United Nations is scheduled to hold a press conference in Geneva on Friday morning, local time.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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