North and South Korea will hold their first high-level talks in more than two years. The rare gathering is expected to focus on the North’s participation in next month’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
But while the talks are being greeted enthusiastically by Seoul, many doubt they will lead to a significant curb in tensions between the neighbouring governments that have been in a state of conflict for decades.
North and South Korea agreed to hold high-level talks next week to discuss Pyongyang’s potential participation in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.
During a regular press briefing Friday, Unification Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun said North Korea accepted Seoul’s offer to hold talks at the border village of Panmunjom on Tuesday. The two sides will also discuss ways to improve their relations.
The announcement came shortly after President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to delay joint military exercises until after the Winter Games, which could cool tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
In a New Year’s Day address in which he said “a nuclear button is always on the desk of my office,” North Korean leader Kim Jong Un suggested North Korea was willing to engage in talks with the South and would be open to sending a delegation to the Winter Games.