However, the US dismissed the proposal, saying that a peace treaty would only be discussed once North Korea came back to the six-nation disarmament talks and took steps towards abandoning its nuclear programme.

North Korea quit the talks last April, shortly before it conducted a second nuclear test and tested a long-range rocket.

 

 

The Korean War started in 1950 and ended with a ceasefire three years later, which remains in force.

Industrial park talks

In another development involving the two Koreas, talks about developing a joint-industrial park on the North-South border are due to resume.

A South Korean delegation has left for the Kaesong Industrial park where officials will discuss travel, communication and customs clearance.

 

 

The industrial park at Kaesong is a symbol of inter-Korean cooperation [EPA] 

The complex, located at the border town of Kaesong, is a symbol of inter-Korean co-operation because it combines South Korean capital and knowledge with cheap North Korean labour.

 

Last month, officials from the two countries met but failed to reach a deal on the complex's further development.

 

The sides agreed instead to hold separate military talks to discuss South Korea's request that border crossings be eased for its workers at Kaesong.

 

Tuesday's meeting follows tension in February after North Korea threatened to conduct live-fire drills at the border, designating eight coastal "firing zones" along the east and west coasts, a month after firing a barrage of artillery shells toward the western maritime border it shares with South Korea.

 

The waters off the west coast are a frequent flashpoint, with Pyongyang refusing to recognise the border drawn by the UN at the close of the Korean War.