North Korean Ambassador to the UN Ja Song-nam on Monday said Pyongyang is making efforts to improve its relations with South Korea.
In a meeting with UN General Assembly President John Ashe, Ja added that Pyongyang's priority is to raise the quality of life of the North Korean people by expanding welfare and developing infrastructure.
Ashe asked Ja about the details of measures the regime has taken to make inter-Korean relations better.
The remarks suggest that North Korea is hoping to tackle economic hardship and diplomatic isolation by improving inter-Korean relations.
Huh Moon-young at the Korea Institute for National Unification said, "The regime knows that if they fail to solve economic difficulties, they won't be able to stay in power for long. In order to solve economic problems, they are probably trying to improve their relationship with the South first, and then aim to get the UN and U.S. to lift sanctions."