PYONGYANG, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) has indicated that an early national reunification is the goal of peace offer made by Pyongyang to Seoul, as officials of both countries started their first high-level meeting Tuesday.
While the DPRK has not announced the on-going meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the highly militarized zone dividing the peninsula, its official media have given priorities to inter-Korean relations and national reunification issue.
The official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in a commentary Monday night that Kim Jong Un, top leader of the DPRK, "clarified bold and compatriotic stand and proposal for improving inter-Korean relations in his New Year Address."
The official Rodong Sinmun said in an earlier commentary that Kim's appeal for detente with Seoul has won overwhelming support at home and abroad.
To extend an olive branch to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Kim said in his New Year speech on Jan. 1 that he wants to see a quick end to the frozen relations with Seoul, offering first to dispatch DPRK athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
The KCNA said that the move signals that the "struggle for national reunification would be launched on a fresh higher stage" and that "national reunification is the most urgent and vital task facing the Korean nation."
"If the Korean nation which has eagerly aspired after national reunification for a long period fails to achieve a breakthrough at an early date, the country's reunification will be a long way to go and the danger of permanent division increases," said the commentary.
The surprise move by Kim quickly won response from South Korea, which organized the ministerial level meeting by the two sides in about one week's time, after the two sides restored a hotline of communication.
"All the people in the north and the south and abroad will have to more vigorously turn out in the patriotic, sacred struggle for making a fresh history of national reunification," said the KCNA.