The News Minute | January 12, 2015 | 4:10 pm IST
South Korean President Park Geun-hye said Monday that she is willing to hold a summit meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un without pre-conditions.
"My position is that to ease the pain of division and to accomplish peaceful unification, I am willing to meet with anyone," Park said at a press conference in Seoul.
However, she stated that she would not accept the conditions set by Pyongyang and urged the Kim regime to take concrete steps toward de-nuclearisation.
In his New Year's address, Kim Jong-un said that he was willing to hold a meeting with Park if certain requirements were met such as the cancellation of the regular military manoeuvres that Seoul and Washington hold in South Korea, which Pyongyang considers as a dress rehearsal for war.
North Korea made a direct request to the US to cancel the military exercises this year, hinting that it would at least temporarily halt nuclear testing if Washington yielded to its demands.
In November, North Korea threatened to carry out a new nuclear test in response to a UN resolution that sought to refer human rights violations by the regime to the International Criminal Court.
However, neither experts nor intelligence agencies have detected any movement in the Pungye-ri facilities -- where the regime has conducted three previous nuclear tests -- that indicate that it is carrying out a new test.
Meanwhile, the two allies reported Monday that they would be holding naval manoeuvres along South Korea's east coast as usual from Tuesday.