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North Korea Rejects South Korean Talks Proposal

FILE - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles as he provides field guidance to the flight drill of female pilots of pursuit planes of the KPA Air and Anti-Air Force in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency.

South Korean officials say North Korea has rejected a proposal for talks on reunifying families separated by the Korean War until Seoul cancels sanctions imposed in 2010.

The South's Reunification Ministry released a statement from Pyongyang Friday, saying any talks, exchanges and contacts with South Korea cannot be made without resolving the issue of sanctions. The North said South Korea must remove the sanctions if it is interested in humanitarian talks.

The sanctions were put in place by Seoul in May of 2010 after a North Korean submarine allegedly sank a South Korean patrol boat, killing 46 sailors. The sanctions suspended trade, investment, travel and aid programs.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye has been urging her North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un to meet without any preconditions.