South Korea answers North Korean overture with offer of talks

Soldiers in Panmunjom, a village straddling the inter-Korean border in the Demilitarized Zone. South Korea proposed holding talks with North Korea there next week. Credit Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times

South Korea on Tuesday answered North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s call for dialogue by proposing high-level talks on the border next week. Kim suggested easing military tensions and said he was open to sending a delegation to the upcoming Winter Olympics in the South. Cho Myoung-gyon, Seoul’s unification minister, proposed a meeting next Tuesday in the border village of Panmunjom, saying, “We hope the two sides sit down for frank talks.” If Pyongyang agrees to participate, the meeting would mark the first such dialogue in two years. It comes after tensions escalated in 2017 after North Korea defied international warnings and sanctions with a series of nuclear weapon and ballistic missile tests.

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