N Korea urges end to hostility in letter to South

2014-01-24 08:09
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during an inspection in Pyongyang.  (KCNA via KNS, AFP)

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during an inspection in Pyongyang. (KCNA via KNS, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Seoul - North Korea urged an end to military hostilities on Friday in the latest in a series of apparently conciliatory gestures to South Korea, which has so far reacted with scepticism.

The latest olive branch came in the form of an "open letter" sent to the South Korean authorities by the North's top military body on the direct orders of leader Kim Jong-Un.

"What is important for paving a wide avenue for mending North-South relations is to make a bold decision to stop all hostile military acts, the biggest hurdle stoking distrust and confrontation," the letter from the National Defence Commission said.

A week earlier, the NDC had sent a series of proposals urging South Korea to cancel scheduled joint military exercises with the United States and proposing a mutual moratorium on mud-slinging by the two rivals.

Seoul dismissed the overtures as a "deceptive" propaganda exercise, and warned that Pyongyang may well be laying the ground for a provocative act aimed at triggering a confrontation.

"Regretfully, the South Korean authorities still remain unchanged in its improper attitude and negative stand," the NDC letter said.

Cross-border slandering

The South "should not thoughtlessly doubt, misinterpret and rashly reject our sincere, important proposal," it added.

Temperatures on the Korean peninsula traditionally rise ahead of the annual South Korean-US drills, which Pyongyang condemn as a provocative rehearsal for invasion.

Last year, they witnessed an unusually sharp and protracted surge in tensions, which saw the North threatening pre-emptive nuclear strikes, and nuclear-capable US stealth bombers flying practice runs on the peninsula.

In its letter, the NDC stressed that its opposition lay solely in the participation of US forces in the exercises.

North Korea "did not urge the South Korean authorities to stop ordinary military drills," it said.

"It urged them to halt drills for a war of aggression to be staged against their compatriots in collusion with outside forces."

The NDC said it had also taken the "unilateral" step of halting all cross-border "slandering", despite the South's dismissive response to its proposal a week ago.

South Korea's Unification Ministry had scoffed at the idea, arguing that the only "slander" was propagated by Pyongyang's propaganda machine.

Many analysts have also voiced scepticism over the North's recent charm offensives, noting its past proclivity for offering conciliatory gestures prior to an act of provocation.

Read more on:    kim jong-un  |  south korea  |  north korea  |  north korea nuclear programme

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

When you combine environment, entrepreneurship and technology its pure genius. Meet the genius behind Eco-Fuel Africa, Sanga Moses.



China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us
Moving short film on ivory trade
10 Tips for Greener Shopping

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the structure...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.