North Korea seeks end to inter-Korea hostilities

Pyongyang, Jan 16: North Korea Thursday called for a stop to verbal and military provocations between the two sides of the Korean peninsula, and urged practical measures to be taken to prevent a “nuclear disaster”, the official KCNA news agency reported.

The appeal was made by the National Defence Commission (NDC) in a three-point “important proposal” stating that inter-Korean relations could thaw, including on issues such as the families separated by war, if the two sides make concerted efforts to implement the proposals starting Jan 30, the Lunar New Year, Xinhua reported citing KCNA.

The NDC urged South Korea to stop its annual military drills with the US ahead of the 2014 drills scheduled for late February.

The commission also stressed that North Korea still wanted denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula, urging South Korea to abandon “Double Acts” – attaching itself to the US while denying a nuclear deterrent to its “same nation”, North Korea.

“It is high time to terminate the vicious circle between the same nation and make amiable atmosphere,” the proposal said, expecting an “echo” from South Korea.

On Wednesday, the North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Seoul and Washington must cancel their annual military drills as they were “little short of the declaration of an all-out nuclear war”.

South Korea claims that the joint military drills are defensive in nature, but North Korea denounced them as a rehearsal for a northward invasion. Last year, the US military mobilised B-52 strategic bombers and B-2 stealth bombers for the drills.

The committee warned of an “unimaginable holocaust and disaster” and a crisis in inter-Korean ties if “the rehearsal for a nuclear invasion” into North Korea pushes on.

China said Thursday it hope all relevant countries on the Korean Peninsula should exercise restraint.