S. Korea's national security policies outline further measures for improving inter-Korean tiesUpdated: 2014-08-14 08:15:10 KST
South Korea offered up more carrots to North Korea on Wednesday, saying the two Koreas could discuss the establishment of a so-called "peace regime" when the time is right.
In a book outlining President Park Geun-hye's national security policies, the presidential National Security Office stressed the need for inter-Korean military dialogue to build trust and reduce the chances of potential clashes.
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The so-called peace regime is widely being viewed as a potential peace treaty to replace the armistice accord that brought fighting in the Korean War to a halt.
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That would work in North Korea's favor, which has repeatedly claimed that a peace treaty was necessary for ending what it called U.S. hostilities and for the ultimate denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
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South Korea said, however, Pyongyang must take responsible steps for its torpedo attack on the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010 and the shelling of a South Korean border island in 2011.
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Also outlined in the book is South Korea's willingness to gradually open up inter-Korean trade and to allow commercial investment for various economic cooperation projects.
In other words, Seoul hinted at a readiness to ease economic sanctions on the North, depending on Pyongyang's change in attitude.
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This comes two days after South Korea made a surprise proposal to North Korea to hold high-level talks next week.
A response has yet to be given, but for now, the ball remains in North Korea's court over shifting the tone on the Korean peninsula.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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The D.P.R.K. should have nuclear weapons regardless if a peace treaty is signed or not.