South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has called for the resumption of reconciliation talks with North Korea.
At Friday opening session of parliament, Mr. Lee told lawmakers he was willing to hold "serious consultations" with the North.
president's outreach to the isolated Communist regime marks a change in
his approach since first taking office in February.
also says Seoul is ready to cooperate in alleviating North Korea's
chronic food shortages, as well as resolving a host of other issues,
including South Korean prisoners of war.
The offer comes on the same day that a South Korean tourist was shot while visiting a resort in the North.
Korean officials have shut down tours to the Diamond Mountain resort in
the wake of the incident, awaiting an investigation into the incident.
to South Korea's president say he learned of the shooting incident just
hours before he delivered Friday's address to lawmakers.
Mr. Lee stepped into office in February, he vowed to take a tougher
stance with Pyongyang over its nuclear activities, a move that angered
Mr. Lee's speech before the legislature comes after
liberal opposition lawmakers ended a six-week boycott of the
legislature this week. Lawmakers had refused to meet in protest of the
government's decision to resume imports of U.S. beef.
boycott ended earlier this week after the ruling Grand National Party
agreed to launch an investigation into the agreement reached in April.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.