North‚ South Korea agree to ease tension on Peninsula


SEOUL: In an effort to build mutual trust and ease tension on the Korean Peninsula, North and South Korea have agreed to hold a high-level meeting in Seoul next week, a government official said.

The agreement came after the two sides held the first government-level talks on Sunday in years at the truce village of Panmunjom to exchange views on the protocol, location, the agenda and size of the delegation to be present at Wednesday’s ministerial meeting planned for Seoul.

“The two sides shared the same understanding in regards to the ministers’ meeting,” the South Korean Ministry of Unification’s spokesperson Kim Hyung-suk said.

The talks are due to take place in Seoul on Wednesday and Thursday.

Tensions rose sharply on the Korean Peninsula in December after North Korea tested a Taepodong 2 long-range missile and again in February when it carried out its third nuclear test.

The UN slapped sanctions, and the start of joint military drills between South Korea and the US in March further irritated the North.

Later, Pyongyang suspended from April all operations at the Industrial Complex in the border city of Kaesong and pulled out all of its 53,000 staff working for the 123 South Korean companies.

Six days earlier, the North had banned South Korean personnel from entering the complex.


Asad Haroon
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