Bringing an end to the running confrontations would be an important first step toward unification of the two Koreas, the ruling party newspaper Rodong Sinmun said in an article, the South Korean news agency Yonhap reported.
If cooperation measures agreed to in 2000 and 2007 had been implemented, relations between the North and South would have improved greatly over the past five years, Rodong Sinmun said.
The article is seen by analysts as a message to the new Park Geun-hye administration in Seoul to adopt a softer attitude about unification.
Outgoing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has taken a hard line against the North since two incidents in 2010 in which Pyongyang sank a South Korean naval vessel and shelled an island near the border. Some 50 people died in the incidents.