South and North Korea reportedly plan to conduct high-level talks this week as the estranged nations work towards a peace deal, the South Korean Unification Ministry said.
The two nations agreed to again have officials meet at the so-called neutral “truce village” of Panmunjom, which straddles their border.
“The South and North will hold a high-level inter-Korea meeting on May 16 in the Peace House in Panmunjom, to discuss implementation of ‘Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula,” the ministry said in a statement
Representatives of the two countries would be returning to a site where North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un dramatically crossed the border into South Korea last month for a meeting with his southern counterpart, president Moon Jae-in.
That unprecedented foray by a North Korean leader helped fuel hopes for a pact amid a swiftly changing diplomatic landscape.
In preceding months, missile tests and sabre-rattling from Pyongyang sparked fears of a nuclear conflict or renewed clashes on the Korean peninsula.
Korea Summit: Kim Jong-un crosses border for historic meeting
But the isolated nation pivoted to a more conciliatory stance, using the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea to establish contact and lay the groundwork for inviting Donald Trump to meet with Mr Kim. The American president has accepted the high-stakes summit.
Amid that thaw, Korean officials have spoken of forging a formal end to the Korean War, which split the peninsula in two after ending in an armistice.
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Donald Trump has endorsed that prospect and projected enthusiasm about striking a deal to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear programme, although he has warned the US is prepared to walk away if Pyongyang is not negotiating in good faith.