South Korea says it will push to allow more journalists to travel to North Korea to cover civilian exchange programs between the rival countries.

Seoul's Unification Ministry announced Friday it would actively support sports, culture and academic exchange programs with North Korea as a way to boost cooperation between the two nations.

Seoul had toughened restrictions on civilian trips to North Korea following an attack on a South Korea warship in 2010 that has been blamed on North Korea. Pyongyang has denied it torpedoed the vessel.

Seoul analysts say the North likely will not positively respond to the South Korean overture, because it desperately wants the resumption of lucrative cooperation projects.