North and South Korea head towards ministerial level talks this Wednesday in Seoul, following the weekend breakthrough at a meeting in historic Panmunjon, where the 1953 armistice was signed between the two then-warring nations.
It will be the first talks at this level in six years, and will end a period of frosty and sometimes violent relations which culminated earlier this year with all contacts suspended and telephone hotlines cut.
South Korea’s president has held a special cabinet meeting to prepare the agenda for talks, and set priorities.
“Even if the talks are at vice-ministerial or director level, I think there will have to be several more discussions to normalise the Kaesong Industrial Complex and the resumption of the Diamond Mountain tour,” says analyst Yang Moo-jin.
The Kaesong industrial zone, currently closed, was a vital economic bridge between the suspicious neighbours, and reopening it is top of the negotiator’s list. A Red Cross emergency hotline between the capitals has already been restored.