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Offer of Korea unification talks

South Korea has proposed talks with North Korea to discuss what it calls a range of issues needed to prepare for the unification of the divided countries.

It is unclear if Pyongyang would accept Seoul's offer as the country has viewed any of South Korea's unification plans as an attempt to take it over. North Korea wants a unified Korea with Pyongyang in charge.

Unification minister Ryoo Kihl-jae said today that South Korea wants talks next month to discuss exchange programmes, joint projects and laws needed for a unified Korea.

Seoul launched a government committee on the unification in July, inviting an angry response by Pyongyang.

The two Koreas have been divided since 1945. Animosities deepened when their troops traded gunfire along the world's most heavily fortified border twice in October.

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