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North Korea Proposes Talks With South, Again

North Korea has made its latest overture to the South with an offer to launch unconditional talks, just days after Seoul rebuffed an earlier call for negotiations.

The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea -- the agency charged with dealing with the South -- announced its proposal through the state-run television channel KRT:

North Korea offered that the talks take place in coming weeks.

The North said it would reopen a liaison office at the Kaesong industrial park, a jointly-run factory park with the South that was shut down last year amid rising tensions.

Pyongyang insisted in its statement that the proposal was "a measure of good faith."

This is the third time this month that Pyongyang calls for dialogue with the South.

South Korea and the United States, its main ally, have said there will not be talks unless the North proves its commitment to easing tensions and ending its nuclear ambitions.

Tension on the peninsula rose to its highest level since the 1950-53 Korean War after North Korea was blamed for the sinking of a South Korean warship last March that killed 46 sailors. North Korea has denied responsibility.

The conflict further escalated in November, when the North killed four South Koreans in an artillery attack on a South Korean island and threatened to launch a "sacred war" on its southern rival.

The attack on the small South Korean island of Yeonpyeong was the first on a civilian area since the Korean War.

compiled from agency reports