The North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo-jong said Friday that the North is open to "constructive discussions" to improve inter-Korean relations if the South drops what she called its hostile attitude toward the regime.
In a statement released by the North's state media, Kim called South Korean President Moon Jae-in's recent proposal for an end of war declaration a (quote) "interesting and good idea."
"The North has lowered the threshold for talks, but it's still keeping the one condition an end to hostile policies against the regime."
Kim also said it's a double standard to condemn what she called the North's self-defensive moves while rationalizing those of others', an apparent criticism of Seoul's joint military drills with Washington and the South's recent test-firing of an SLBM.
Kim's relatively toned-down statement came just hours after the North's Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae-song called the proposal of an end-of-war declaration "premature."
Observers say Pyeongyang is making sure to use Seoul's proposal as a way to get what it wants.
"The North is urging the South to take concrete steps and not just talk. It's also an indirect message telling Seoul to convince Washington to create the right conditions for talks."
President Moon proposed at the UN General Assembly earlier this week that the two Koreas, the U.S., and possibly China declare an end to the war that technically is still going on following the armistice agreement in 1953.
While carefully analyzing Kim's latest remarks, Seoul's unification ministry reiterated its long-held stance that the government will continue its efforts to restore inter-Korean ties.
Kim Dami, Arirang News.