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No change in stance on seeking dialogue with S. Korea: N. Korea

All Headlines 17:31 April 06, 2016

SEOUL, April 6 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Wednesday it is sticking to its stance to seek dialogue with South Korea with the aim of improving inter-Korean ties in what may be a peace gesture in the face of tougher U.N. sanctions.

The North's comments came two days after it said that pursuing stability and talks, rather than unilateral sanctions and military pressure, will become fundamental solutions to easing heightened tensions on the peninsula.

"There is no change in our stance that we seek to open the path toward dialogue with South Korea and better ties," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary.

It said that North Korea made a series of offers that can bring big change to inter-Korean ties last year in a bid to end distrust and confrontation between the two sides.

The KCNA's report came as the United Nations Security Council imposed the toughest sanctions in decades last month over the North's January nuclear test and long-range rocket launch in February.

What appears to be a conciliatory gesture reflects the North's attempt to tip the balance in its favor ahead of its key party congress slated for May, experts said.

North Korea is seeking to make progress on various fronts as it is prepares to hold the ruling party's first party congress in more than three decades in early May.

But the North also blamed South Korea for the current strained relations between Seoul and Pyongyang, urging the South's government to change its hostility-laden attitude toward the communist nation.

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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