SEOUL, A visiting North Korean official has proposed that South Korean lawmakers visit Pyongyang rather than the two Koreas seeking a formal inter-Korean parliamentary meeting, the head of the South Korean ruling party said Friday.

Ri Jong-hyok, vice chairman of the Korean Asia-Pacific Peace Committee, made the offer Thursday when he had dinner with Lee Hae-chan, chairman of South Korea's ruling Democratic Party.

Lee said that the North's official made an offer of political exchanges.

"Ri proposed that South Korean lawmakers visit Pyongyang rather than the Koreas seeking to hold a parliamentary meeting immediately," Lee said at a dinner gathering Friday between National Assembly Speaker Moon Hee-sang and the chiefs of five rival parties.

Speaker Moon earlier proposed holding an inter-Korean parliamentary meeting this year, an offer that the North accepted in principle.

But working-level talks to arrange the gathering have yet to be held as the North wanted to have time to prepare for them.

Moon met Ri last month in Geneva on the sidelines of an international conference. They discussed ways to hold the first-ever parliamentary meeting between the Koreas.

Source: Yonhap News Agency