Thursday, February 15, 2007

Renewal of Talks between North and South Korea

The two Koreas agreed to resume stalled high-level talks, in the first concrete sign of easing tensions on the divided peninsula after the North signed a breakthrough disarmament agreement.

The Cabinet-level talks -- the highest dialogue channel between the two Koreas -- will be held in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, from February 27 through to March 2, according to a joint statement adopted at a lower-level meeting in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.

South and North Korea have held 19 high-level meetings since 2000, but they have been suspended for seven months amid chilled relations following North Korea's missile launches in July and nuclear test in October. The two Koreas remain technically at war since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in a cease-fire, but their relations have warmed significantly since the one-and-only summit between their leaders in 2000.

Cabinet-level talks -- which usually serve as a forum for discussion on Seoul's aid to the impoverished North -- could lead to a resumption of the regular delivery of rice and fertilizer to the communist nation. South Korea suspended its aid after the July missile tests.


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