The two Koreas are holding their fourth round of high-level talks on Monday to plan their third summit of the year.
What's noteworthy is that it was North Korea that called for the meeting.
That raises the question -- why does Pyongyang need a high-level meeting with Seoul NOW, specifically pointing to the possibility of holding the inter-Korean summit, much sooner than initially scheduled in the fall?
Experts suggest North Korea may want to urge South Korea to be more involved in alleviating the international sanctions and in successfully declaring a formal end to the Korean War within this year, which would likely lower military pressure on the regime.
"North Korea could be looking to increase exchanges with South Korea to overcome the difficulties it faces from the U.S. sanctions and pressure campaign. Also, Pyongyang could urge Seoul to push Washington to declare an end to the Korean War."
Pyongyang has recently ramped up criticisms against Washington for still keeping pressure high despite the North's "goodwill" actions.
On Friday, Pyongyang's foreign ministry issued a statement that denounced Washington for intensifying sanctions despite Pyongyang halting nuclear and missile tests, dismantling a nuclear test site, and repatriating the remains of America's war dead.
It called on the U.S. to respond in a "corresponding" manner.
A source familiar with inter-Korean affairs told Arirang News on Friday that 'North Korea may lash out at South Korea regarding sanctions. Monday's talks won't be easy.'
To find a breakthrough in its stalled negotiations with the U.S. on denuclearization and ending the Korean War, it's seen that North Korea could've called for this high-level meeting to pressure South Korea to be more of a mediator between Pyongyang and Washington.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.