North And South Korea Agree To Hold Talks To Calm Tensions

On the road to peace.

In an effort to reduce tensions, officials from North Korea and South Korea have pledged to hold talks next week in the village of Panmunjom, near the northern border. The official government talks are slated to occur on November 26.

The discussions will be the first between both nations since the end of a devastating armed standoff that concluded on August 25.

South Korea, represented by their Unification Ministry, has proposed on numerous occasions to conduct talks. North Korea, represented by the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea, finally settled on a date and location for the important talks that they hope will ease tensions.

"Now we're back on again, the game's afoot," John Delury, of Yonsei University in Seoul, said according to Newsweek. "Sometimes these talks break down before they even start over what level to send, so this sounds like a very pragmatic and straightforward approach."

August marked a bloody chapter in relations between the two nations after a land mine near the North Korean border wounded two South Korean soldiers. Although North Korea never issued a formal apology, they did express regrets for the injuries.

"It is very meaningful that from this meeting North Korea apologized for the landmine provocation and promised to work to prevent the recurrence of such events and ease tensions," said Kim Kwan-jin, national security adviser to South Korean President Park Geun-hye, according to Reuters.

The August military clash also included a barrage of artillery fire and loudspeakers blasting propaganda messages across the border.

Both countries agreed to end the military standoff two days later. The August agreement also included reunions between family members who were separated by the border for decades.

(H/T: Newsweek)

Cover image via iStock