Two Koreas hold working-level dialogue this afternoon

Kim Ki-woong, center, South Korea's chief negotiator for Thursday's working-level meeeting between South Korea and North Korea, is leaving Office of Inter-Korean Dialogue in Samcheong-dong, Seoul, Thursday morning. (Yonhap)

Kim Ki-woong, center, South Korea’s chief negotiator for Thursday’s working-level meeeting between South Korea and North Korea, is leaving Office of Inter-Korean Dialogue in Samcheong-dong, Seoul, Thursday morning. (Yonhap)

North and South Korea kicked off a working-level meeting on Thursday afternoon to decide details of a high-level talks that the two countries agreed in August to hold as soon as possible, Yonhap news agency reported Thursday.

The preparatory meeting took place on the North’s side of the truce village of Panmunjeom at 12:50 p.m. Seoul sent Kim Ki-woong as the chief negotiator for the meeting.

The meeting, offered by the North, will likely be a discussion about time, venue and agenda for the high-level talks. It will also be to implement the deal made by the two nations on Aug. 25 on defusing military tension.

Part of the August deal was agreeing to hold a high-level government talk as early as possible either in Seoul or Pyongyang. The deal came after the land mine blast in early August, for which the South blamed the North for maiming two South Korean soldiers at the North-South border.

In the meeting, the South is expected to propose holding the reunions of the families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War on a regular basis. Some 66,000 South Koreans are estimated to have family members living across the border.

The North is likely to suggest resuming the inter-Korean tour program at Mount Geumgang in the North, a symbol of inter-Korean reconciliation. The program was halted in 2008 when a North Korean soldier killed a female South Korean tourist at the scenic resort.

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