After two days of intense talks North and South Korea have reached an agreement on ending their stand off which had pushed the peninsula into a state of heightened military tension.
The crisis began after landmine explosions wounded South Korean troops. Seoul responded by broadcasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda.
In a statement South Korea’s Chief of National Security said : North Korea has expressed regret over a recent landmine incident on the South’s side of the Demilitarized Zone along the Military Demarcation Line that wounded South Korean soldiers. South Korea has agreed to halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts. And the North has agreed to end its ‘semi-state of war’.”
There was no mention of an apology by the North over the landmines and no acceptance that they had laid them, but the word “regret” seems to have satisfied the South.
The North also denied shelling South Korea last week – an incident that had prompted artillery fire from the South.
The blasting of propaganda via loud speakers had particularly annoyed Pyongyang but both sides are now said to have made compromises and will hold follow up talks to discuss a range of issues on improving ties.
Seoul and Pyongyang have technically remained at war since the 1950-53 Korean war ended in a truce, rather than a peace treaty, and relations have been strained ever since.