North Korea is holding talks with South Korea at their shared border to ease high tensions after a tense stand-off which had the two exchanging fire two days ago.
Kim Kyou-hyun, a senior aide to President Park Geun-hye of South Korea, said a high-level meeting took place at the border town of Panmunjom, which is in the inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). According to the New York Times, North Korea’s highest-ranking military officer after Kim Jong-un, Vice Marshal Hwang Pyong-so, attended the meeting with Kim Kwan-jin, Ms. Park’s senior national security adviser.
North Korea publicly confirmed by its state-run news media that the country was in talks with South Korea and used South Korea by the “Republic of Korea” instead of referring to it as it usually does — in a derogatory manner.
The meeting at the Peace House was also attended by Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo of South Korea and Kim Yang-gon, a North Korean Workers’ Party secretary in charge of relations with South Korea.
According to CNN, the serious meeting was over by 4:15 a.m. (Korea Standard Time) on Sunday. Min Kyung-wook, spokesman for the South Korean presidential office, said what was discussed and that talks would continue at 3 p.m.
“Both sides widely discussed resolving the recent situation and the future development of the relationship between South and North.”
South Korea initially began broadcasting pro-democracy messages via loudspeakers across the border to North Korea after two of its soldiers were injured in landmine blasts, which South Korea blamed on the North.
The North denied responsibility for the landmines and would not apologize.
North Korea’s Kim Jong-un warned South Korea to stop its “provocations” and “psychological warfare” or it would face the wrath of the North.
North Korea’s U.N. Ambassador, An Myong Hun, was also very clear about what might happen if South Korea did not take the North seriously.
“If South Korea does not respond to our ultimatum… our military counteraction will be inevitable and that counteraction will be very strong.”
South Korea responded by evacuating its residents near the DMZ and continued to blast its content to North Korea. North Korea responded by threatening to blow up the South’s loudspeakers, and then fired artillery shells into the DMZ area. Officials believe North Korea was aiming for the loudspeakers.
South Korea responded to the attack with its own artillery. It is believed that no one was killed in the incident.
Many hope North Korea will continue open and peaceful discussions with South Korea to continue to ease hostilities between the two countries.
[Photo by Getty Images News]