North Korea Calls For Cooperation With South Korea
An appeal was also made in the commentary to intensify combat training for the North Korean army.
“The danger of war should be removed and peace safeguarded in the Korean Peninsula,” reported the state-run Korean Central News Agency. "If a war breaks out on this land, it will bring nothing but a nuclear holocaust.”
Tension on the Korean Peninsula has been high since the sinking of the South Korean warship the Cheonan in March 2010. Since then, military posturing from both the North and South has taken place, including the North Korean firing of artillery shells on Yeonpyeong Island in November and South Korean war games off the coast.
The commentary, which is seen as an indicator of the North's intentions for the coming year, was printed in the country's leading newspapers, including Joson Inmingun and Rodong Sinmun, and read on state television.
Bloomberg reports this response to the editorial from South Korea:
North Korea “appears to seek humanitarian aid and a better relationship with the South by calling for dialogue and cooperation with Seoul,” South Korea’s Unification Ministry said today in a statement in response to the New Year editorial. “The North also has an intention to stir up a rift among the South Korean people.”