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More Inter-Korean Meetings To Follow Talks of Jan. 9

Jan. 10, 2018 (EIRNS)—The North and South Korean delegations issued a joint statement after yesterday’s meeting in Panmunjom. The statement not only covers the North’s participation in the Olympics, it also says that the two sides "agreed to collaborate in facilitating reconciliation and unity by easing military tensions, and to establish a peaceful environment," including by holding military talks. They also said that they

"respect the inter-Korean declarations and have decided to resolve the issues raised in inter-Korean relations through dialogue and negotiations, as parties directly involved in the matters surrounding the Korean Peninsula."

More meetings are coming, however, as the logistical details for the Olympics still need to be worked out. "We are always open to talks. We plan to consult with North Korea as soon as possible if both sides could set the date for the talks," Baik Tae-hyun, the ministry spokesman, told a press briefing, today, reported the Korea herald.

The South Korean defense ministry began preparations for military talks and is expected to propose a date and venue for the agreed-upon meeting via the restored inter-Korean military hotline later this week or next week."We have to start from easy issues and proceed gradually," a senior South Korean defense official said. "Since there have been few exchanges between the two Koreas, there are many minor issues to be dealt with." For now, the military talks would focus on finding a way to ease cross-border tensions before the opening of the Olympics, the official said but he kept open the possibility that the talks would be developed into a discussion of more serious issues, such as the two Koreas’ cross-border propaganda broadcasts, and possibly, upcoming South Korea-U.S. joint military exercises.