SEOUL, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- South Korea's Defense Ministry on Friday urged the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to prove its sincerity with real action, not words, in response to Pyongyang's "open letter" sent earlier to repeatedly call for Seoul's positive response to its "important proposals."
"Now is the high time (for the DPRK) to show sincerity not with words, but with action," Defense Ministry deputy spokesman Wi Yong- seop told a routine press briefing.
Wi's remarks came after the the DPRK's National Defense Commission (NDC) sent an "open letter" Thursday under a special order from top leader Kim Jong Un.
The letter urged South Korea to stop all hostile military acts, the biggest hurdle stoking distrust and confrontation, stressing that the DPRK's initial peace call was not "camouflaged."
On Jan. 16, the NDC made a three-point "important proposal," saying that inter-Korean relations could thaw if the two sides make concerted efforts to implement the proposal starting from Jan. 30, the Lunar New Year holiday.
The commission especially urged Seoul to cancel its annual military drills with the United States scheduled for late February to April, but South Korea rejected the call, insisting the exercise is defensive in nature.
The letter said that Pyongyang's claim was to stop the rehearsal for such northward invasion, noting that if Seoul and Washington want to push ahead with it, they could do that in the U. S. territory or any silent place away from the Korean Peninsula.
It also said that the DPRK decided to take actions to stop all hostile military acts on the ground as well as in the air and sea of the frontline, including the disputed five islands off the West Sea.
In response, Wi said that the South Korean military will strengthen defense readiness against unexpected provocations and threats from the DPRK, which led to the current security tensions between the two sides.
Seoul's Unification Ministry planned to make an official statement to respond to the DPRK's repeated peace proposal.