By ASSOCIATED PRESSPublished: AUGUST 18, 2010 07:27
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea offered to hold a summit with South Korea in an apparent bid to secure economic aid, but Seoul rejected the idea citing increased tensions, a news report said Wednesday.Seoul had told North Korea last year that it would give the North aid if Pyongyang agreed to a summit, but when the North recently asked if that offer stood it was told that circumstances had changed, according to the report in the mass-circulation Dong-a Ilbo newspaper, which cited unidentified South Korean government officials.Unification Ministry spokeswoman Lee Jong-joo denied there had been any past or current government-level dialogue between the Koreas over a summit.There were reports in South Korean media earlier this year that the two Koreas held a series of secret meetings in 2009 to discuss a possible summit but were wide apart over conditions for such a meeting. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has twice held summits with South Korean presidents, in 2000 with Kim Dae-jung and in 2007 with Roh Moo-hyun.The North's reported proposal comes amid ongoing tension between the two Koreas following the March sinking of a South Korean warship. In May, an international team of investigators found the North responsible for the sinking that killed 46 South Korean sailors.North Korea, which denies involvement, has recently issued a series of threats to South Korea over its joint military drills with the United States.
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