North Korea’s Kim Signals Warmer Ties With South

North Korea’s Kim Jong Un named improving the economy and better relations with South Korea as top policy goals for his second year as leader, signaling he may ease his country’s confrontational approach toward Seoul.

“The building of an economic giant is the most important task that comes to the fore in the present stage of building a thriving socialist country,” Kim said yesterday in a New Year address carried by the official Korean Central News Agency. “The reunification of the country is the greatest national task that brooks no further delay.”

Kim departed from the past year’s saber-rattling against South Korean President Lee Myung Bak as Lee’s successor Park Geun Hye prepares to take office Feb. 25. Park has repudiated Lee’s hard-line North Korea policy, expressing her willingness to talk to Kim and help the North join global organizations to thaw ties.

Read more: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-01-01/north-korea-picks-stronger-economy-south-ties-as-top-2013-tasks

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