Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, on Friday deemed South Korean President Moon Jae-In's proposal to declare a formal end to the Korean War an "admirable idea" and said Pyongyang is willing to discuss improving inter-Korean relations if Seoul ceases to be hostile towards it, reports Yonhap News Agency.
"The declaration of the termination of the war is an interesting and an admirable idea. ... But it is necessary to look into whether it is the right time now and whether there are conditions ripe for discussing this issue," she said in the statement carried by Pyongyang' official Korean Central News Agency.
"We have willingness to keep our close contacts with the South again and have constructive discussion with it about the restoration and development of the bilateral relations if it is careful about its future language and not hostile toward us."
Kim Yo-jong's statement came after Vice Foreign Minister Ri Thae-song rejected Moon's proposal as "something premature".
Earlier this week while addressing the UN General Assembly, Moon proposed the two Koreas and the US declare a formal end to the 1950-53 war. South Korea and the North are still technically at war, as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty.
Kim Jong-un's letter to Beijing
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said his country's strong relations with China will further grow against "vicious challenges and obstruction by the hostile forces" in a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping, Pyongyang's state media reported on Saturday.
According to Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Kim made the remarks in a reply to Xi's earlier letter that offered congratulations on the North's 73rd founding anniversary, where the Chinese leader said he intends to "develop these ties of friendship and cooperation on a long-term basis and in a stable way", Yonhap News Agency reported.
"I am very pleased to see the comradely unity and cooperation between North Korea and China steadily growing strong while smashing the vicious challenges and obstruction by the hostile forces," Kim said in the letter on Wednesday, adding their relations will "further develop day by day".
North Korea has strengthened relations with other socialist countries, including China and Russia, amid a prolonged stalemate in denuclearization talks with the US.
(With inputs from IANS)