North Korea proposes joint volcano research with South

The proposal comes as relations remain strained between the two Koreas.

Seoul: North Korea is proposing a joint project with rival South Korea to carry out research on volcanic activity at their highest mountain along the border with China.

State-run KCNA in Pyongyang says the proposal was sent to Seoul on Thursday. South Korea`s Unification Ministry confirmed the proposal on Friday, and spokesman Chun Hae-sung says Seoul is considering the idea.

Experts say Mount Paektu last erupted in 1903 but remains active, with the region regularly registering quake activity. North Koreans consider Paektu sacred territory with official lore saying leader Kim Jong Il was born on the mountain.

The proposal comes as relations remain strained between the two Koreas in the wake of two deadly attacks in 2010 that the South blames on the North.
Bureau Report