Seoul: South and North Korea held secret talks last November about holding their first summit in more than two years but failed to narrow differences, a news report said on Monday.
Chosun Ilbo newspaper, quoting ruling party and government sources, said the two rounds of talks were held at Kaesong just north of the border on November 7 and 14.
It was the latest media report of secret contacts on another possible summit, following meetings between the two nations' leaders in 2000 and 2007. Seoul officials declined to comment on the Chosun story and have not confirmed earlier reports.
South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak last week expressed willingness to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il, possibly even this year, despite the North's artillery exercises which Seoul slammed as provocative.
"I'm always ready to meet with Chairman Kim Jong-Il," Lee said in an interview with the BBC on Thursday, according to a transcript released by his office.
"However, if we meet, we have to engage in fruitful dialogue and hold enough discussions on the North Korean nuclear issue."
Munhwa Ilbo newspaper, quoting a presidential source, said South Korea has sent a message to the North proposing a summit in the first half of this year and is awaiting an answer.
First Published: Monday, February 01, 2010, 13:45