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)
TEXT SIZE - +
— 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, Steven L Herman is the Voice of America Asia correspondent.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid