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N Korea says it wants to defuse tension with South

North Korea said on Saturday in a new year message that it wanted to reduce tension with the South but warned of a "nuclear holocaust" if there is another war on the peninsula, a media report said.

world Updated: Jan 01, 2011 13:53 IST

North Korea said on Saturday in a new year message that it wanted to reduce tension with the South but warned of a "nuclear holocaust" if there is another war on the peninsula, a media report said.

The call came against the background of a year in which tension between the two states reached a recent high with an artillery attack on the South's Yeonpyeong Island in November that killed four people, the Yonhap News Agency reported.

"Confrontation between North and South should be defused as early as possible," Pyongyang said in the joint editorial from the Rodong Sinmun, Joson Inmingun and Chongnyon Jonwi newspapers.

"If a war breaks out on this land, it will bring nothing but a nuclear holocaust."

North Korea staged nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009.

The editorial credited Pyongyang with avoiding war on the peninsula in 2010 and called on the South to halt a series of military exercises it has staged since the Nov 23 artillery attack.

The joint New Year's editorial called for "an atmosphere of dialogue and cooperation" in 2011 and also repeated a previous pledge for denuclearisation.

North Korea "is consistent in its stand and will to achieve peace in North-East Asia and denuclearization of the whole of the Korean peninsula", the editorial said.