N. Korean leader open to inter-Korean summit talks

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said Thursday he is willing to hold summit talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye this year with the aim of making a “big shift” in inter-Korean ties.

In his televised New Year’s Day address, the North Korean leader said Pyongyang will “make every effort” to advance dialogue and cooperation with Seoul. “Depending on the mood and circumstances to be created, we have no reason not to hold the highest-level talks,” he said.

According to Yonhap news agency, he used much of the 30-minute speech to emphasize the need for improved relations between the rival Koreas, along with the importance of developing the communist nation’s military capability and the living standards of its people.