Jan. 2 - South Korea urges the North to seize the opportunity to return to dialogue, one day after the North’s new leader Kim Jong-un toured a major army division. Nick Rowlands reports.
Speaking from Seoul, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak calls on North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-un to seize the opportunity for dialogue. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT LEE MYUNG-BAK SAYING: "If North Korea comes forward with sincerity, we will be able to open a new era for the Korean peninsula together. Through dialogue, we should get rid of distrust between each other and move toward mutual existence and prosperity." Lee said his government is prepared to help the North rebuild its shattered economy provided Pyongyang suspends its nuclear activities and resumes the six-way disarmament talks which include the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia. (SOUNDBITE) (Korean) SOUTH KOREAN PRESIDENT LEE MYUNG-BAK SAYING: "We hope that there will be a turning point to solve North Korea's nuclear problem this year. As soon as North Korea suspends nuclear activities in progress, six party-talks should be able to resume." On Sunday Kim Jong-un toured a major army division in his first public activity as new leader of North Korea. His father Kim Jong-il ruled the reclusive state as a military leader, and experts say Kim Jong-un - who at around 27 is believed to lack experience - is unlikely to take a dramatically different path. North and South Korea are still technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean war ended in a truce without a peace treaty. Nick Rowlands, Reuters.