North Korea proposes high-level talks with Washington

SEOUL (AFP) - North Korea has proposed high-level talks with the United States aimed at discussing nuclear weapons programmes and easing of tension on the peninsula, state media said on Sunday.

"We propose high-level talks between the North and the US to secure peace and stability in the region and ease tension on the Korean peninsula," the North's powerful National Defence Commission said in a statement carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

The North is willing to have "serious discussions on a wide range of issues, including the US goal to achieve the world free of nuclear arsenal", it said, urging the US to set the time and venue for the talks.