2 Jan 2011

North Korea seeks end to confrontation with South

6:33 am on 2 January 2011

North Korea has called for an end to confrontation with the South, urging dialogue after one of the most violent years on the divided peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Tension between the rival Koreas has risen sharply after the North shelled an island in the South near their disputed sea border, killing four including two civilian residents last year, Reuters reports.

Earlier, the South blamed Pyongyang for torpedoing one of its navy ships, killing 46 sailors. The North denies the charge.

In a joint editorial also carried by the state news agency KCNA, the three main official North Korean newspapers said confrontation between the North and South should be defused as early as possible.

However, the 6000-word New Year editorial did not contain a specific proposal for talks.