North Korea offered the United States and South Korea a list of conditions for talks on Thursday (April 18), including the lifting of U.N. sanctions, signalling a possible end to weeks of warlike hostility on the Korean peninsula.

The statement, which was issued by North Korea's top military body and carried on its official news broadcaster KRT, also said the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula would begin when the United States removed nuclear weapons that the isolated state says Washington has deployed in the region.

The move was likely a sop to the North's only major backer, China, which has signalled its growing unease over the escalation of threats.

"They should take measures of retracting the UN Security Council's "resolutions on sanctions". They should bear in mind that doing so would be a token of good will towards North Korea," said the North's state-run television quoting the National Defence Commission's statement.

South Korea has also proposed talks with the North, a move that Pyongyang rejected as insincere.

The North's commission also called for an end to the U.S. and South Korea's annual joint military drills, which began in March.

North Korea has a long record of making threats to secure concessions from the United States and South Korea, only to repeat the process later.

Both the United States and the South said this week that the cycle must cease.

Presented by Adam Justice