North Korea and South Korea Hold Rare Talks in Panmunjom
North Korean and South Korean officials are holding rare talks aimed at improving long-strained ties, after a military stand-off in August.
The meeting is taking place at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone.
Tension between North Korea and South Korea ramped up in August when a border blast injured two South Korean soldiers.
Meetings at that time eventually led to the two Koreas stepping away from a military confrontation.
The two sides are expected to discuss details such as the timing and agenda of higher-level talks, reported South Korean news agency Yonhap.
South Korea’s chief negotiator, Kim Ki-woong, told reporters before the meeting: “We are resolved to maintaining the momentum for dialogue that was started by the August agreement.”
In June 2013, North Korea and South Korea agreed to hold what would have been the first high-level dialogue for six years. However, just the day before the scheduled meeting, Pyongyang canceled it, citing the seniority of the South Korean negotiator.
On August 4, two South Korean soldiers by the border were seriously injured by a landmine blast, which was blamed on the North. North Korea denied planting the landmine.
South Korea began propaganda broadcasts into the North, infuriating Pyongyang which in turn declared a “semi-state of war” and began deploying troops to the frontline.
However, after talks, also held at Panmunjom, the two countries reached a deal to de-escalate tensions with South Korea stopping the broadcasts and North Korea pulling back troops.