South Korean officials say they are reviewing a North Korean proposal
for talks on a joint industrial complex, in Pyongyang's first official
contact with Seoul in more than a year.
spokesman Kim Ho-Nyoun said Saturday that North Korea proposed a
meeting in the Kaesong industrial zone, without specifying what the
talks would be about. South Korean officials have repeatedly called
for access to a South Korean who has was detained at the complex last
month for allegedly criticizing North Korea.
Korean officials on Saturday reiterated an earlier warning to South
Korea against joining the U.S.-led Proliferation Security Initiative
(PSI), aimed at stopping the spread of weapons of mass destruction
Korea's official news service published a statement from an official,
spokesman for the General Staff of the Korean People's Army, saying
such a move by South Korea would be considered a declaration of war.
South Korea has delayed its decision to join the initiative amid rising tension with North Korea.
Kaesong industrial park opened in 2005 and is the last remaining
reconciliatory venture between the two Koreas. But North Korea cut
official contact with the South and restricted border crossings when
President Lee Myung-bak took office last February with a tougher stance
on the North.
Relations between the two sides grew tenser
after North Korea launched a rocket on April fifth. North Korea said
it was a satellite but others allege it was a test of a long-range
North Korea announced Tuesday it would halt
six-nation disarmament talks and restart its nuclear program in
retaliation for a U.N. Security Council statement condemning the launch.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.