It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
South Korea insisted that North Korea accept separate talks on its nuclear weapons despite an agreement between the two nations to hold high-level military dialogue to ease months of tensions.
Analysts were cautious about prospects for the negotiations, which would be the first since the North sparked outrage in the South in November with a deadly bombardment of a border island.
Washington welcomed Thursday's agreement on the military talks, which came a day after US and Chinese leaders called in a summit statement for "sincere and constructive dialogue" between the two Koreas.
"That is an important step forward. I think some of that comes as a result of yesterday's meeting here... clearly a positive step," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs.
The North's official news agency said the peninsula "is in a critical moment of peace or war". It confirmed the North is willing to discuss two deadly border incidents that the South blames on its neighbour.
Cross-border relations have been sour since a conservative government in Seoul linked major aid to its neighbour's progress on nuclear disarmament.
They worsened sharply last May when the South accused the North of torpedoing one of its warships with the loss of 46 lives, a charge Pyongyang denies.
Tensions rose even higher after the North bombarded Yeonpyeong island, killing four people, including civilians.
The North said the shelling was in response to the South's artillery drill on the island near the disputed border, which dropped shells into what Pyongyang claims as its waters.