North Korea has accepted goodwill gestures from South Korea and the U.S.
The U.S. had pledged to deliver $900,000 in aid for flood-stricken North Korea. A plane carrying medicines, blankets, and other supplies sponsored by the U.S. State Department landed in Pyongyang Saturday. The U.S.-based aid group Samaritan's Purse also sent relief supplies.
Additionally, leading South Korean Buddhist monks arrived at Pyongyang by plane to participate in a service at a North Korean temple marking the 1,000th anniversary of the creation of an important Buddhist relic.
On Monday, the Buddhist monks, along with their North Korean counterparts, gathered at a temple located north-east of Pyongyang to join the ceremony and pray for reunification of the divided peninsula, according to North Korean state media.
The arrival of the Buddhist monks was the first such visit since Seoul blamed Pyongyang for sinking its warship, the Cheonan, last year, resulting in the South restricting travel to North Korea. The Unification Ministry of South Korea, which oversees all North-South contacts, said it approved the trip because it is purely religious in nature.
Report: Buddhist Monks, U.S. Aid Arrive in North Korea (Voice of America, 3 September 2011)
Report: S. Korea monks hold rare service in North: report (AFP, 5 September 2011)
South Korea further said that it would start sending aid to North Korea next week, despite tensions.
In early August Seoul offered flood relief worth $4.7 million, including medicine, instant noodles, nutritious meals for children and other materials.
The North has reported numerous casualties, thousands made homeless and massive flooding resulting from a storm and torrential rain this summer.
Report: South Korea to send flood aid to North Korea (AFP, 5 September 2011)
However, Pyongyang ramped up its rhetoric against South Korea by accusing the South of plotting to destroy its communist system.
Pyongyang's official news agency claimed in a statement that relations have become hostile to the point where they are on "the brink of war" because of Seoul's policy of "unification through absorption". The statement said Seoul's conservative rulers had backed out on past agreements to reunify under a federal system.
The statement said the present approach intended to incapacitate the North's nuclear deterrent, “force it into opening and destroy it in the end” and is guided by Seoul’s “sinister intention” to see the collapse of the North Korean system, amounting to a “declaration of war” against the North.
Such language is often employed by Pyongyang in its rhetoric against the South.
Report: North Korea says Seoul plotting to destroy it (AFP, 5 September 2011)