N.Korea calls for mending ties with the US

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London, Jan.1 (ANI): North Korea has called for an end to hostile relations with the United States, official news agency KCNA reported.

"The fundamental task for ensuring peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and in the rest of Asia is to put an end to the hostile relationship between the DPRK (North Korea) and the USA," it said in a report of a joint newspaper editorial on the country's foreign policy stance.

According to The Independent and The Times, the US responded by calling for North Korea to show its good faith by returning to six-party talks aimed at dismantling its nuclear programme.

Pyongyang pulled out of the talks last April following widespread condemnation of a long-range missile launch.

In Washington, a State Department official was quoted as saying: "Actions speak louder than words," the official said. "A good step forward would be to return to six-party talks."

North Korea has often said it is keen for a peace treaty to replace the armistice that ended the 1950 - 1953 Korean War, and said it developed nuclear weapons to deter a US attack.

Washington has repeatedly said it has no intention of invading the country and has insisted that security guarantees and aid should be linked to the communist state's denuclearisation.

The U.S. and North Korea agreed on the need to resume the negotiations during a trip to Pyongyang by President Barack Obama's special envoy in early December, but North Korea did not make a firm commitment on when it would rejoin the talks.

The lengthy message also appealed to North Korea's 1.1 million-strong military to remain alert and ready to thwart any surprise attack by the enemy, while calling on its people to unite around leader Kim.

It also said Pyongyang remained committed to improving its relations with South Korea, urging the South to refrain from taking actions that may aggravate tension. (ANI)

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