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SKorea tells North door to dialogue open

world Updated: Jan 03, 2011 09:43 IST
Reuters
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South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said on Monday he was open to dialogue with Pyongyang, as the US envoy for North Korea prepared to travel to the region to discuss how to reduce tensions.

Both Koreas have recently signalled a greater willingness for talks after a year of confrontation that included the sinking of a South Korean warship in March, killing 46 sailors, a deadly exchange of artillery fire in November, and threats of war that rattled financial markets.

In a New Year address televised nationally which also covered his economic and social policy plan for the year, Lee repeated a warning that Pyongyang will be dealt a "stern and strong" blow if it chooses to mount another attack on the South.

The comments came two days after the North called for an end to confrontation with the South, urging dialogue after one of the most violent years on the divided peninsula since the 1950-53 Korean War.

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