North and South Korea hold high-level talks in Kaesong

  • Published
A wall of South Korean loudspeakers, for broadcasting propaganda across the borderImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
During their standoff, both sides restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border

North and South Korea are holding high-level talks in the Kaesong joint industrial zone on the North Korean side of the border.

It is the latest in a series of steps to improve relations after a tense standoff in August.

The confrontation began when two South Korean soldiers were seriously hurt by landmine explosions along the border.

It escalated to threats of war and a brief exchange of fire across the border.

Tension only eased when the two sides met for lengthy discussions at which they agreed to resume previously suspended talks and restart family reunions.

Those reunions were restarted in October, with talks beginning again in November.

Image source, S Korean Unification Ministry
Image caption,
The latest series of talks has yet to feature ministers or national leaders

As Friday's meeting will only be attended by vice-ministers, it is unlikely that they will discuss the most serious issues in the two countries' often tense relationship.

The official agenda of the meeting has not been made public however, analysts suggest they may discuss more regular reunions between families separated by the Korean War.

The resumption of South Korean tours to the North's Mount Kumgang resort, suspended in 2008, may also be discussed, reports said.

Because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, the two countries remain technically at war.