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High-Level Talks To Be Held Between North And South Korea In Over Two Years


High-Level Talks To Be Held Between North And South Korea In Over Two Years
A dialogue between North and South Korea is all set to start after a gap of over two year, according to sources quoted in media reports.
The border village of Panmunjom, inside the demilitarised zone (DMZ) would be the place for t he proposed meeting slated reportedly for January 9.
The South's unification ministry confirmed on Friday that South Korean officials have been informed about the arrival of North Korean delegates arriving at the village for high level talks by the North Korean government.
South Korean ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun was quoted in South Korea's Yonhap news agency as saying that enhancement of relations between the two nations and the possibility of North Korea taking part in the Winter Olympics slated to be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang next month would be the focus of the meeting.
"The two sides decided to discuss working-level issues for the talks by exchanging documents," Baik said.
There was however no confirmation about the exact identify of the officials to attend the summit.
Regardless of renewed talks, the need to "maintain a firm defence posture" against Pyongyang was reiterated by Japan's defence minister, Itsunori Onodera.
"North Korea goes through phases of apparent dialogue and provocation but either way, North Korea is continuing its nuclear and missile development. We have no intention of weakening our warning and surveillance," he said in Tokyo on Friday.
“The effectiveness of economic sanctions" on Pyongyang would be undermined by a scenario where the two Korean countries may end up having enhanced relations resulting in greater economic cooperation between them, which would be a cause for concern, said Bong Youngshik, of the Yonsei Institute for North Korean Studies.
“It seems like the South Korean government is very aware that this is a trap set by North Korea but you have to walk into the trap in order to first ease the dangerous tension on the Korean Peninsula at the risk of actual war taking place," he told in a telephonic television interview from Seoul.
"And, second, by improving inter-Korean relations and creating an atmosphere conducive to meaningful dialogue and negotiations, eventually North Korea and the US are likely to agree to have a direct talk on the denuclearization issue."
This announcement for the high-level deliberations between North and South Korea happened just a few hours after military exercises off the Korean peninsula was put off by U.S and South Korea, till the end of the Winter Olympics.
There was a phone discussion about the situation between US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday.
"The two leaders agreed to de-conflict the Olympics and our military exercises so that United States and Republic of Korea forces can focus on ensuring the security of the Games," a White House statement said following the call.
US defence chief James Mattis said that the military exercises would begin after the winter games but the date is yet to be fixed and that the postponing of the exercises was a "practical matter".
"We have at times changed the timelines on these [drills] for any number of reasons, so for us this is the normal give and take that we have," he said at the Pentagon on Thursday.

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High-Level Talks To Be Held Between North And South Korea In Over Two Years

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