Leaders of South Korea's major political parties Friday agreed to accept an invitation from communist North Korea for a meeting between lawmakers to discuss a pact guaranteeing neither will use arms against the other.

The conciliatory gesture by the North followed numerous rebuffs of southern efforts to improve relations on the peninsula that was split into two countries at the end of World War II in 1945.The overture apparently was in response to a South Korean request Monday that North Korea take part in the Seoul Summer Olympics from Sept. 17 to Oct. 2. The North vowed to boycott the Games unless it was named a co-host, which the International Olympic Committee refused to allow.