• Kyodo


North Korea’s National Defense Commission on Wednesday called on the United States and South Korea to end what Pyongyang sees as confrontation, in line with a New Year message from leader Kim Jong Un apparently inviting dialogue.

The commission accused the United States and South Korea of hostile acts and said it is watching what moves they decide to make, the Korean Central News Agency said.

In his address, leader Kim said he is open to a summit meeting with South Korea.

A commission spokesman questioned whether the South Korean authorities have “an idea” to bring about a change in bilateral relations through dialogue and urged them to “make clear their stand on whether they will choose dialogue or confrontation.”

The commission’s Policy Department denounced a move last week by President Barack Obama’s administration to step up sanctions against North Korea over the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. in November and urged Washington to lift all sanctions.

In the statement notifying Washington of its “principled stand,” it also said the United States “should make a bold decision to unconditionally stop all reckless hostile acts of creating the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula.” Pyongyang has been calling for an end to U.S. military drills with South Korea.

North Korea also demanded that Washington agree to its offer of a joint investigation into the Sony attack, for which the nation has denied responsibility.

In a separate statement, a spokesman for the commission accused South Korean politicians of allowing activists to drop anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets over the border despite the North Korean leader’s New Year message. Pyongyang sees the act as a form of confrontation.

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