North Korea declared the crisis over its nuclear programs could be resolved if the United States was willing to normalize relations, including replacing the cease-fire that has existed since the end of the Korean War with a permanent peace agreement. South Korea
On Friday, the North's Foreign Ministry said in a statement, that "the building of a peace mechanism is a process which the DPRK (Democratic Republic of North Korea) and the U.S. should go through without fail in order to attain the goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula," Korean Central News Agency reported.
"To replace the fragile cease-fire mechanism by a lasting peace mechanism on the Korean Peninsula with a view to doing away with the last leftover of the Cold War era is essential, not only for the peace and reunification of Korea but for the peace and security in Northeast Asia and the rest of the world," the statement run.
An unidentified spokesman for the North Korea's Foreign Ministry said a formal peace treaty would "give a strong impetus" to the new round of negotiations, report The New York Times.
However, South Korean officials noticed Friday, that North Korean military officers were unwilling at recent talks to discuss South Korea's proposal to remove their respective guard posts along the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries.
The North Korean officials seemed pessimistic about the South's suggestion made during working-level military talks Wednesday, the Defense Ministry said in a statement according to the AP.
Both statements come just days before six-party talks on North Korea nuclear program are to resume in Beijing next Tuesday.
The North's delegation, led by Vice Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan, left today for Beijing, KCNA reported.
Earlier U.S. State Secretary Condoleezza Rice urged North Korea to make a "strategic decision" to shut down its nuclear program without promising anything in return.