North Korea proposes "candid" military talks with South Korea

North Korea wants its military to meet with that of South Korea for "honest and candid" talks aimed at reducing military tensions between the arch-rivals.

The talks could take place at the end of May or beginning of June, according to a statement from North Korea's Defence Ministry on Saturday, carried by state media.

The talks would aim "to defuse the military tension on the Korean peninsula and create [a] confidence-building atmosphere between the military authorities of the north and the south," the statement read.

The regime in Pyongyang, isolated by the international community over its nuclear weapons programme, has recently made several appeals to Seoul for military talks.

"We think that it is necessary for the military authorities of the north and the south to discuss in an honest and candid manner the outstanding issues related to any possible military conflict," the statement added.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made the most recent call some two weeks ago at a congress of the ruling Workers' Party.

Seoul has accused the communist north of not being serious about talks so long as it continues with its controversial plans to build nuclear weapons.

Steps towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula should have the utmost priority if there was to be dialogue, the South Korean Defence Ministry said on Saturday.

Tensions between the two sides have increased following an atomic bomb test by the north in January and a hotly disputed missile launch.

The UN Security Council increased sanctions against Pyongyang at the beginning of March.

Last update: Sat, 21/05/2016 - 18:22

More from World

US abstains for first time from UN vote condemning Cuban embargo

The United States abstained for the first time in 24 years from a vote in the UN General Assembly urging an end to...

Venezuelans demand end to "dictatorship" as tensions surge

Venezuela's political crisis escalated Wednesday as the opposition announced a general strike and threatened to...

Monitor: Death toll rises to 35 in bombing of Syrian rebel village

The death toll from Wednesday's airstrikes near a school complex in a rebel-held village in north-western Syria has...

US pushing for TTIP deal ahead of Obama's Germany trip

The United States said Wednesday it is continuing to push forward with a US-European trade agreement with the "...

2016 deadliest year for migrants in Mediterranean, UN agency says

This year has been the deadliest ever for migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, with at least 3,800...