March 4 (UPI) -- A South Korean agricultural cooperative for unification said Wednesday it plans to publish 13 North Korean novels.
The cooperative, which has petitioned Seoul for greater exchange between North and South, said the novels include North Korean works of fiction Ri Je Ma, Hun Min Jong Eum and Dong Eui Bo Gam, local news service Tongil News reported.
Other novels that have received permission from the South Korean unification ministry are set in pre-modern Korean dynasties. None of the novels are political stories that glorify the Kim Jong Un regime.
During an outdoor press conference on Wednesday, the South Korean cooperative said the publishing project has taken three years.
North Korea granted permission to publish the novels in the South on Jan. 10, when Pyongyang's copyright office said the books and the copyright would be transferred to a Chinese import-export company.
Jeong Ik-hyeon, chief director of the South Korean cooperative, said the approval indicates North Korea is requesting exchange and cooperation with the South. Jeong also said he hopes South Korean books would be published in the North.
South Koreans are urging cooperation at a time when North Korea has returned to limited tests of short-range projectiles. On Tuesday, Kim Jong Un's younger sister warned the South against making statements against provocations.
Kim Yo Jong not only defended North Korea's missile drills, but also referred to Seoul as a "scared dog" that barks loudly.
South Korea's presidential office on Wednesday said it had no comments regarding the statement and maintains its position against North Korea testing, Yonhap reported.
South Korean officials also said the harsh statements are not being interpreted as a rejection of future talks, according to the report.