Date
28 July 2017
Representatives of North Korea (left) shake hands with their South Korean counterparts after talks at Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone. Photo: Reuters
Representatives of North Korea (left) shake hands with their South Korean counterparts after talks at Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone. Photo: Reuters

N Korea, S Korea reach agreement to ease tensions

North and South Korea reached agreement early Tuesday to end a standoff involving an exchange of artillery fire that had pushed the divided peninsula into a state of heightened military tension, Reuters reported.

Under the accord reached after midnight after more than two days of talks, North Korea expressed regret over the recent wounding of South Korean soldiers in a landmine incident and Seoul agreed to halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts, both sides said.

North Korea also agreed to end the “semi” state of war it had declared.

The two sides will hold follow-up talks to discuss a range of issues on improving ties, the joint statement said.

“They both made compromises. South Korea did not get an apology, they got a statement of regret about the injury, which they can spin as an apology,” John Delury of Yonsei University in Seoul was quoted as saying.

“The more important point is maintaining this channel and reopening the relationship.

“This is hardly going to be easy to implement, but it’s a landmark agreement which lays out a path.”

Under the deal, the two sides also agreed to arrange reunions of families separated by the Korean War during upcoming autumn holidays and in future.

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