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North, South Korea Hold High-Level Meeting

  • VOA News

FILE - North Korean soldiers guard the truce village of Panmunjom at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates the two Koreas.

FILE - North Korean soldiers guard the truce village of Panmunjom at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) which separates the two Koreas.

North and South Korea have held their highest-level talks in seven years, raising cautious hopes of improved ties between the two foes.

There was no official agenda for the meeting, which was held on the South Korean side of the Panmunjom border village on Wednesday.

Speaking ahead of the talks, the head of the South Korean delegation, top national security official Kim Kyou-hyun, said he was optimistic.

"We will participate in the meeting with an open mind and attitude toward opening new road in the Korean peninsula," said Kim.

Seoul said that one of issues discussed was the resumption later this month of reunions between families split by the Korean War.

The South Korean Unification Ministry hopes to explore whether the reunions, which have not occurred since 2010, can be held regularly.

North Korea, meanwhile, is likely to continue its push for the South to call off its annual joint military drills, set to begin on February 24.

Pyongyang has threatened to cancel the talks because of the war games, which it views as preparation to invade.

The North Korean delegation is led by senior negotiator Won Dong Yon.

South Korea said that this was the first time senior North and South Korean officials have met since 2007.
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