The CNN agency reports that the South Korean Defence Ministry has proposed to hold working-level talks with North Korea on February 11th, hoping to pave the way for higher-level military talks.
According to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency release, these are to take place at the border – the truce village of Panmunjom, used by the two Koreas for diplomatic engagements – in the demilitarized zone separating the two countries, where their forces stand face-to-face.
It was the first time in eight months that the two sides had reopened the communication channel, or ‘hot line’, cut off by North Korea in May as a protest against South Korea’s response to the March sinking of a South Korean naval ship. Pyongyang denies any involvement in the sinking of the Cheonan.
Tensions rose again in November, when North Korea shelled South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians. North Korea said the strike was in response to the South’s navy firing into Northern waters.
The North Korea Peace Museum is located in Panmunjom which was destroyed during the war.
Many wish that these talks, to be held where the Korean Armistice Agreement was negotiated, could see the resumption of steps towards peaceful reunification.