South Korea said Friday it wants to meet with North Korea early next week to discuss a South Korean worker detained in the North and a joint industrial project that has been troubled by tensions between the sides.
It was unclear if the North would agree to the offer; it did not accept an earlier proposal to discuss the industrial zone due to differences over whether the detained worker should be on the agenda.
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyeon said the government plans to send a new proposal later in the day. "We hope the North will accept our proposal," he said.
South Korea says the detained worker is its top priority in such talks but the North says any meeting should focus only on its industrial zone in Kaesong where more than 100 South Korean companies run factories, according to Seoul officials.
North Korea detained the Seoul worker at the zone on March 30 for allegedly denouncing Pyongyang's political system.