North Korea and South Korea will hold formal talks next week—the first official sit-down in over two years—despite continued bluster by President Donald Trump directed at Pyongyang and his undermining of diplomatic efforts since taking office last year.
Seoul officials said Friday that the North had accepted its proposal to hold the talks.
They will take place Tuesday in the border village of Panmunjom, and are expected to cover the upcoming Winter Olympics, which take place next month in the South, and other Korean matters, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told reporters.
The announcement comes on the heels of South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump saying they would postpone joint military exercises until after the Winter Olympics. That development drew praise from Korean expert and peace activist Christine Ahn, who tweeted: “Thank goodness cool heads prevail, for now. It’s our job now to freeze them in exchange for halting NK tests.”
The announcement also comes two days after the North restored the “hotline” to the South.
In his New Year’s Day speech, North Korea leader Kim Jong Un signaled an opening for the dialogue, saying, “it’s about time that the North and the South sit down and seriously discuss how to improve inter-Korean relations by ourselves and dramatically open up.”
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