News / Asia

    North, South Korea Agree to Hold More Talks

    The head of North Korea's delegation Kim Song Hye, center, shakes hands with South Korean delegate Kwon Young-yang, right, upon their arrival for a meeting at the southern side of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, June 9, 2013. (Photo released by S. Korean Unification Ministry)The head of North Korea's delegation Kim Song Hye, center, shakes hands with South Korean delegate Kwon Young-yang, right, upon their arrival for a meeting at the southern side of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, June 9, 2013. (Photo released by S. Korean Unification Ministry)
    x
    The head of North Korea's delegation Kim Song Hye, center, shakes hands with South Korean delegate Kwon Young-yang, right, upon their arrival for a meeting at the southern side of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, June 9, 2013. (Photo released by S. Korean Unification Ministry)
    The head of North Korea's delegation Kim Song Hye, center, shakes hands with South Korean delegate Kwon Young-yang, right, upon their arrival for a meeting at the southern side of Panmunjom, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, June 9, 2013. (Photo released by S. Korean Unification Ministry)
    After marathon discussions, South Korea has conceded to a demand from the North that dialogue to be held in Seoul this week not be termed ministerial talks - as Seoul had earlier announced.

    For the first time in years, officials of the rival governments sat face-to-face at the truce village of Panmunjom. Their talks throughout Sunday and early Monday stretched over a period of 18 hours.

    After the conclusion of the marathon talks at  Freedom House on the southern side of the Joint Security Area, Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk in Seoul read a brief statement but took no questions from reporters.

    Kim said both sides agreed to call the upcoming meeting an “inter-governmental talk,”  to discuss issues that should be resolved as soon as possible, such as the resumption of two stalled inter-Korean ventures in the North: the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the Mt. Keumgang tourism complex.

    Kim said they also agreed they would discuss resuming meetings of separated families on the peninsula.

    The spokesman added that both sides agreed to create delegations consisting of five representatives. The chief of the South Korean delegation will be the Minister of Unification.

    North Korea's official news agency later said its delegation would be headed by "minister level authorities."

    There has been no dialogue at the ministerial level since 2007.

    After the initial Sunday morning round of working talks, Unification Ministry officials in Seoul announced that the North had agreed to ministerial-level talks.

    Last week, the communist North called for a resumption of inter-Korean dialogue after it engaged in a period of intense bellicose rhetoric and provocative nuclear and missile tests, which sent tensions on the peninsula to the highest level in decades. Pyongyang also expressed anger about joint U.S.-South Korean annual military drills that, this year, included publicized flights of American bombers capable of carrying nuclear weapons.

    The direct discussions mark a significant reversal for the North, which is under international sanctions for its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons development.

    A state of war on the peninsula has technically remained in effect since 1953 when three years of devastating conflict halted with a truce but no peace treaty.

    Additional reporting by Youmi Kim.

    Steve Herman

    A veteran journalist, Steve Herman is VOA's Southeast Asia Bureau Chief and Correspondent, based in Bangkok.

    You May Like

    Republicans Struggle With Reality of Trump Nomination

    Despite calls for unity by presumptive presidential nominee, analysts see inevitable fragmentation of party ahead of November election and beyond

    Spanish Warrants Point to Russian Govt. Links to Organized Crime

    Links to several Russians, some of them reputedly close Putin associates, backed by ‘very strong evidence,’ Spanish judge says

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    Iraq needs stable, central government to push back against Islamic State, US says, but others warn that Baghdad may not have unified front any time soon

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora