PYONGYANG, North Korea, Jan. 1 (UPI) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un proposed a summit during his New Year's Day address on state television, the first time he's publicly addressed the possibility of talks with South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
"Depending on the mood and circumstances to be created, we have no reason not to hold the highest-level talks," he said.
Earlier this week the South proposed minister-level talks for January, and the North is expected to agree, though Kim says Pyongyang's conditions must be met before the two leaders can meet.
"In a tense mood of such war-preparatory exercises, trust-based dialogue can't be possible, and North-South relations can't move forward," he said, reiterating the North's call to suspend recent U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises.
He also said the North would pursue more tourist activity, in particular at Mount Kumgang, and continue its nuclear program.
Both Park and Kim want to see the reunification of Korea, though Kim, faced with ongoing economic problems, is expected to more aggressively pursue inter-Korean dialogue.
Park, in her New Year's Day message, pledged effort toward peace, though she also called for military readiness during continued tensions with the North.
"We should end the history of division by putting an end to the Cold War on the Korean Peninsula," she said.
High-level talks between the two Koreas were last held in February 2014 and led to the reunions of Korean families separated since the Korean War, though further talks were scrapped after Pyongyang accused the South of allowing activists to drop anti-Northern pamphlets over the border.