South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has warned any military aggression by North Korea will be met with strong and stern response but added the door to dialogue remained open.
Lee said in a nationally televised New Year address that it was up to the North to show it was serious about dialogue and that Seoul was willing to offer economic aid.
Tension on the divided Korean peninsula has risen sharply since the North shelled a South Korean island in November, killing two soldiers and two civilians.
Meanwhile, the U.S. envoy responsible for policy toward North Korea, Stephen Bosworth, will visit South Korea, China, and Japan this week for consultations on North Korean issues.
compiled from agency reports