SKorea dismisses NKorea's calls for improved ties

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Associated Press

Posted on January 2, 2014 at 11:09 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 3 at 3:04 AM

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea has dismissed North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's calls for improved ties and urged his government to take nuclear disarmament steps first.

Kim made the overture in his New Year's Day speech Wednesday that also included typical rhetoric against Seoul and Washington and a warning of a possible nuclear war.

South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told reporters Friday that North Korea must first make "sincere" efforts for nuclear disarmament if it wants to improve strained ties with Seoul.

He says Seoul is doubtful about Pyongyang's overture because the country made a similar offer in a New Years' Day message last year but quickly followed that with a nuclear test and a string of military threats that raised tension on the peninsula.

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