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North Korea Proposes New Tourism Talks with Seoul


North Korea is asking South Korea for new talks aimed at reopening a North Korean resort to South Korean tourists.

North Korea's state media said Saturday Pyongyang has invited South Korean officials to the border city of Kaesong to discuss the resumption of tours to Mount Kumgang. The tours once provided the cash-strapped regime with needed revenue, but have been suspended since 2008 when a North Korean soldier shot and killed a South Korean tourist.

North Korean state media said officials are awaiting a response.

The overture comes just days after the two countries agreed to resume temporary reunions for families separated during the Korean War.

Relations between the communist North and the democratic South had been deteriorating since the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.

Seoul accuses North Korea of torpedoing the Cheonan, killing 46 sailors. Pyongyang has denied any involvement.

Despite the tensions, the agreement on the family reunions and the request for new talks on tourism may be part of a thawing in North-South relations.

South Korea signed a deal Friday to get advice from Germany on how to prepare for a potential reunification with the North. Germany was separated into communist East and democratic West Germany following World War II and remained divided until 1990.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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