North and South Korea opened their first official talks in two years
on Sunday at a border village “without argument”, the South
said, building on an easing in tensions from nearly daily threats
two months ago of impending nuclear war.
The meeting in Pammunjon, where the armistice was signed in
the 1950-53 Korean War, was taking place hours after U.S.
President Barack Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed at a
summit that the North had to abandon its nuclear programme.
The hour-long morning session appeared to pave the way for
ministerial-level discussions next Wednesday. Such a meeting
would be the first such encounter in more than six years.
North Korea’s overture to hold discussions reverses months
of bellicose rhetoric after the United Nations imposed toughened
sanctions against the North in response to its third nuclear
test in February. The North also reopened a Red Cross hotline
with South Korea last week.
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