The Republic of Korea (RoK) on Feb. 8 proposed inter-Korean talks over preserving disease-threatened pine trees at ancient tombs in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).

The DPRK authorities have not yet agreed to hold such a meeting, according to Xinhua News Agency of China.

However, the move comes after the DPRK asked RoK civic groups, including the Seoul-based Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation, for chemicals to combat tree diseases, the agency reported.

RoK Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik said that his government is considering providing assistance for pest control at the ancient site, which was recognised as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 2004.

The meeting, if held, will be the first official inter-Korean talks since working-level military talks last year failed to narrow differences on two deadly border conflicts in 2010.

It would also be the first talks between the two Koreans since the death of DPRK leader Kim Jong Il on Dec. 17 last year.

Minister Yu Woo-ik said he could see opportunities to improve relations between the two Koreas after nearly two years of tension./.