SEOUL, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- South Korea needs to make more active response to the reconciliatory gesture of Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), a South Korean expert said Thursday.
"Kim Jong Un's New Year speech was positive, given he did touch on improved inter-Korean relations in a direct way, while refraining from making hostile comments against the United States, " Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said in a telephone interview.
Kim said in a televised New Year's address Wednesday that the DPRK will "create atmosphere to ameliorate the relations between the DPRK and South Korea," calling for an end to slandering each other.
Asked about whether Pyongyang will convert the reconciliatory remarks into action in 2014, Yang asked back how the DPRK can engage in dialogue with South Korea when President Park Geun-hye is calling for sincerity from the DPRK without giving a positive response to such reconciliatory gesture.
The professor cited the aborted resumption of six-party talks, the aid-for-disarmament dialogue among six parties, including the two Koreas, China, the United States, Russia and Japan, to dismantle the DPRK's nuclear weapons program.
The DPRK has called for the resumption of the six-way dialogue without any preconditions, but South Korea and the United States claimed that Pyongyang should first show its sincere attitude toward the denuclearization even to enter into the dialogue phase.
Yang noted that President Park vowed in her New Year's message to create atmosphere for peaceful reunification, saying that active dialogue will be in the best interests of South Korea.
Park said in her message for the New Year that the government will redouble its efforts to further promote peace on the Korean Peninsula and lay groundwork for peaceful reunification, noting that the administration will strive to maintain an impregnable security posture and prepare specific contingency plans against possible provocation from the DPRK.
Yang said that if the Park administration responds to the DPRK' s reconciliatory gesture in an active way, the inter-Korean relations would be restored, forecasting that inter-Korean summit could be held as early as the first half of 2015 if the active response leads to the resumption of the six-party talks and the dialogue between the DPRK and the United States.