Close
Date TimeJanuary 04, 2018
Voice
North Korea has accepted South Korea's proposal for official talks, in what will be the first high-level contact to take place between the two countries in more than two years.
South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told reporters Friday North Korea informed its southern neighbor by fax at 10:16 a.m. local time (8:16 p.m Thursday ET) that they have accepted the South's offer to initiate talks.
The person-to-person talks will be held January 9th -- one day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's birthday -- at the Peace House, located on the South Korean side of the so-called truce village of Panmunjom, located in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two nations, Baik said.
The spokesman said the two sides agreed to work on the details of the talks "through the exchange of documents," and added the agenda items of the talks will be "issues related to improving inter-Korean relationships including the Pyeongchang (Winter) Olympic Games."
Baik added that he understands that "the North Korean side is also scheduled to have talks with the IOC (International Olympic Committee) next week."
When asked whether hotlines will be open on the weekend, he said he expected they would, as time to prepare for the first face-to-face meeting in over two years was running short.
The faxed message accepting the long-standing offer of talks was from Ri Son Kwon, chairman of the North Korean Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland. It was addressed to his de facto counterpart, South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, Baik added.
When asked by a reporter if Ri and Cho would attend the talks, Baik said that the personnel who will attend the meetings is a matter that still needs to be finalized.
The last high level inter-Korea talks were a deputy ministerial meeting between South and North Korea that took place in December 2015, at the jointly-run Kaesong industrial zone in North Korea.
The industrial park, which opened in 2004 in a rare show of cooperation between the two Koreas, was shuttered in 2016 in response to Pyongyang's ramping-up of missile and nuclear testing.

Thaw
The announcement of talks comes on the heels of other signs of nascent rapprochement between the two rivals.
In recent days a hotline between Seoul and Pyongyang, which had remained unused for two years, rang once again, in what has been widely regarded as a major diplomatic breakthrough. At least five calls have been placed through the cross-border channel since.
Contact between the two Koreas was initiated after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un expressed hope during his annual New Year's day address that a North Korean delegation might participate in next month's Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Two North Korea athletes, the figure skaters Ryom Tae-Ok and Kim Ju-sik, have qualified for the Games. While Pyongyang has missed a registration deadline for the two, it is understood that the IOC could allow an exception to be made.
During the annual address, Kim also expressed a desire for a peaceful resolution to the decades-old conflict with South Korea. The Korean War ended in an armistice in 1953, meaning that the two nations have technically been at war since.
Last year, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in told CNN that North Korean participation in Pyeongchang will "provide a very good opportunity for inter-Korean peace and reconciliation."

Stronger hand
The advanced stage of North Korea's weapons program could afford its leadership the luxury of diplomacy, said Tong Zhao, a North Korea analyst and Fellow at the Carnegie Tsinghua Center for Global Policy.
"I think Kim Jong Un is now a different position after the Hwasong-15 (long-range missile) testing. At a minimum, North Korea has achieved a rudimentary strategic deterrent and can afford to not continue testing ... North Korea apparently has plans to mass produce missiles and nuclear warheads but could (now) consider a moratorium on ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) tests."
However, despite potential risks, Zhao views the resumption of talks as a positive sign, and considers the upcoming meeting to be a first step in improving bilateral relations.
"After Kim Jong Un made the overture in his New Year address, the two sides quickly resumed the hotline and agreed to meet -- the pace of development is very quick," Zhao said.
"There is an indication that North Korea wants to explore broader issues. I expect they will engage in other issues as well (at the talks) ... It's hard to tell how quickly they will settle the Olympic issue but it's clear that both sides want to go further with these talks."

Differing reaction
A similar sense of optimism has yet to extend beyond the Korean peninsula.
On Thursday, Japan's Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, called North Korea's nuclearization "absolutely unacceptable" and said the security situation facing his country is the severest since World War II.
US officials have so far maintained a similarly skeptical stance regarding Kim's sincerity in soothing tensions.
Speaking Tuesday, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley issued a stern warning to North Korea, saying the US "will never accept a nuclear North Korea."
However, signs suggest the US' hardline stance may be softening in light of recent developments. In a phone call between US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Thursday, the two leaders agreed not to host joint military drills during the period of Pyeongchang Olympics, according to a South Korean government statement.
A senior US military official also confirmed to CNN that there would be no joint exercises during the Games.
"(Even) if South Korea-North Korea relations improve thanks to the Olympics, the US-South Korea (military) drills will still take place after that, which could still be major reason for turbulence going forward," said Zhao, the North Korea analyst.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has long criticized the US-South Korean drills, declaring them a direct threat to Pyongyang, and a possible barrier to the resumption of diplomatic talks.
The decision to hold off on military drills is a diplomatic response from the US President, who earlier this week bragged in a tweet that his nuclear button was "much bigger & more powerful" than Kim's.
Trump has since sought to take credit for the resumption of communications between Pyongyang and Seoul.
"With all of the failed 'experts' weighing in, does anybody really believe that talks and dialogue would be going on between North and South Korea right now if I wasn't firm, strong and willing to commit our total 'might' against the North," Trump tweeted Thursday morning.
"Fools, but talks are a good thing!" he added.

Related Stories
Ivankas North Korea Photobombs Perplex White House OfficialsIvanka's North Korea Photobombs Perplex White House Officials
Donald Trump to meet Kim Jong-Un in DMZ; may step onto North Korean soilDonald Trump to meet Kim Jong-Un in DMZ; may step onto North Korean soil
Donald Trump shares handshake with Kim Jong-un at DMZ, becoming first sitting US president to enter North KoreaDonald Trump shares handshake with Kim Jong-un at DMZ, becoming first sitting US president to enter North Korea
News Trends
Beyonce Hugs Meghan Markle at Londons Lion King PremiereBeyonce Hugs Meghan Markle at London's 'Lion King' Premiere
Amazon Protesters to Deliver Petition of 270,000 Signatures to Jeff BezosAmazon Protesters to Deliver Petition of 270,000 Signatures to Jeff Bezos
Trump doubles down on ‘go back’ tweets amid outrage, calls on ‘Radical’ reps to apologizeTrump doubles down on ‘go back’ tweets amid outrage, calls on ‘Radical’ reps to apologize
Love Islands Amy flirts with Curtis brother AJ PritchardLove Island's Amy flirts with Curtis' brother AJ Pritchard
Wimbledon commentator blasted for Mirka Federer ‘costume jewellery’ commentWimbledon commentator blasted for Mirka Federer ‘costume jewellery’ comment
The father of modern computing: Alan Turings legacyThe father of modern computing: Alan Turing's legacy
As Big Little Lies airs its penultimate episode, what exactly happened this season?As Big Little Lies airs its penultimate episode, what exactly happened this season?
Facebook-Driven Area 51 Storming May Be Countered With Force, Says US Air ForceFacebook-Driven Area 51 Storming May Be Countered With Force, Says US Air Force
Hillary Clinton attacks Trump over tweet aimed at progressive congresswomenHillary Clinton attacks Trump over tweet aimed at progressive congresswomen
Charles Levin, Hollywood actor, found deadCharles Levin, Hollywood actor, found dead
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Related Stories
Ivankas North Korea Photobombs Perplex White House OfficialsIvanka's North Korea Photobombs Perplex White House Officials
Donald Trump to meet Kim Jong-Un in DMZ; may step onto North Korean soilDonald Trump to meet Kim Jong-Un in DMZ; may step onto North Korean soil
Donald Trump shares handshake with Kim Jong-un at DMZ, becoming first sitting US president to enter North KoreaDonald Trump shares handshake with Kim Jong-un at DMZ, becoming first sitting US president to enter North Korea
News Trends
Beyonce Hugs Meghan Markle at Londons Lion King PremiereBeyonce Hugs Meghan Markle at London's 'Lion King' Premiere
Amazon Protesters to Deliver Petition of 270,000 Signatures to Jeff BezosAmazon Protesters to Deliver Petition of 270,000 Signatures to Jeff Bezos
Trump doubles down on ‘go back’ tweets amid outrage, calls on ‘Radical’ reps to apologizeTrump doubles down on ‘go back’ tweets amid outrage, calls on ‘Radical’ reps to apologize
Love Islands Amy flirts with Curtis brother AJ PritchardLove Island's Amy flirts with Curtis' brother AJ Pritchard
Wimbledon commentator blasted for Mirka Federer ‘costume jewellery’ commentWimbledon commentator blasted for Mirka Federer ‘costume jewellery’ comment
The father of modern computing: Alan Turings legacyThe father of modern computing: Alan Turing's legacy
As Big Little Lies airs its penultimate episode, what exactly happened this season?As Big Little Lies airs its penultimate episode, what exactly happened this season?
Facebook-Driven Area 51 Storming May Be Countered With Force, Says US Air ForceFacebook-Driven Area 51 Storming May Be Countered With Force, Says US Air Force
Hillary Clinton attacks Trump over tweet aimed at progressive congresswomenHillary Clinton attacks Trump over tweet aimed at progressive congresswomen
Charles Levin, Hollywood actor, found deadCharles Levin, Hollywood actor, found dead
Leaders
Donald-TrumpDonald Trump
45th President of the United States of America
Mike-PenceMike Pence
Vice President of the United States
Theresa-MayTheresa May
British Prime Minister
Angela-MerkelAngela Merkel
Chancellor of Germany
Emmanuel-MacronEmmanuel Macron
President of France
Justin-TrudeauJustin Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Nancy-PelosiNancy Pelosi
Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
Barack-ObamaBarack Obama
44th U.S. President
Vladimir-PutinVladimir Putin
Russian President
Shinzo-AbeShinzō Abe
Prime Minister of Japan
Trump administration freezes security aid to Pakistan
'Game of Thrones' Officially Confirmed to Return in 2019
Trump administration to end Obama-era marijuana policy
Emmanuel Macron: French president announces 'fake news' law
Golden Globes Host Seth Meyers: How to Handle an Awards Show Post-Harvey Weinstein
California earthquake: Berkeley and San Jose locals fearing 'Big One' brace for aftershock
Russia warns US not to meddle in Iran during protests
Japanese Suicide Prevention Group Slams YouTube Star Logan Paul
Ivanka Trump: The first female President?
Jerusalem is 'not for sale' Palestinians  warn Donald Trump as he threatens to cut aid over ailing peace talks
Google faces new discrimination charge: paying female teachers less than men
Stephen Colbert Takes Out Billboard 'Campaigning' for Trump's Dishonest Media Awards
Two phones, two years, two calls: How North and South Korea reconnected
RIPPLE to become the new BITCOIN? Surge in new cryptocurrency as banks FAVOUR it
'He lost his MIND' Donald Trump BLASTS Steve Bannon over Russia claims
Ellen DeGeneres Puts Seth Meyers Through Awards Show Boot Camp
At least 11 dead as US coast braces for 'bomb cyclone'
‘Bomb cyclone’ could mean more severe winter weather for east coast late this week
Steve Bannon calls Donald Trump's son 'unpatriotic' and 'treasonous' over Russia meeting in scathing new book
Hope for Michael Schumacher MIRACLE: Doctor says he could ‘come back to life’
Ellen DeGeneres Thanks California Firefighters After Wildfire Threatened Home
Cryptocurrency boom: Why everyone is talking about ripple
Former Taliban hostage arrested in Canada on 15 charges including assault
Trump threatens to cut US aid to Palestinians
North Korea calls hotline to South Korea in diplomatic breakthrough
Top SECRET US satellite launched by SpaceX aims to send 'unknown group' MYSTERY messages
Jimmy Kimmel Predicts Who Will Win This Year's 'Bachelor'
Trump Taunts Kim Jong Un: My Nuclear Button Is ‘Bigger’
YouTube says Logan Paul video violated its policies
Tesla Model 3 challenges and cash burn worries may overshadow delivery numbers
Golden Globes Partners With Facebook for Exclusive Preshow Live Stream
Nikki Haley: 'We will never accept a nuclear North Korea'
‘He’s NOT at embassy anymore’ Julian Assange mystery deepens over cryptic tweet
Paris Hilton and boyfriend Chris Zylka are engaged
At least 16 hurt in 7-alarm fire in the Bronx
Hoda Kotb Replacing Matt Lauer as 'Today' Co-Anchor
2018 Winter Olympics: What you need to know
New Year Celebration in Moscow
Thirteen monkeys killed in devastating fire at Woburn Safari Park
REVEALED: The six elections in 2018 which could rock Europe
2018 is already off to a violent start
Mike Pence visit to Israel delayed, but trip is reportedly still in plans
Kim Jong-un’s ‘olive branch’ to South Korea 'is a PLOT to drive a WEDGE between US allies'
Thirteen people dead after violent widespread protests across Iran
16-year-old accused of killing family, friend on New Year's Eve
Trump blasts Pakistan 'deceit' in first tweet of the year
US Customs computers outage causes delays for airport travelers
'Friends' Is Now Streaming On Netflix In The UK, Putting 2018 Off To A Great Start
Two US presidents on two Iranian crackdowns
4 killed in New Year's Eve shooting at New Jersey home
North Korea casts nuclear shadow over Asia's 2018
Donald Trump’s wife Melania stuns in a gown worth £3,000 at New Year’s Eve party
Death toll rises in Iran amid wave of anti-government protests
Kim Jong Un says he has complete nuclear arsenal and a button on his desk
Steve Harvey Officiates Maria Menounos' Marriage on Fox New Year's Eve Broadcast
10 Americans among 12 dead in Costa Rica plane crash
Kourtney Kardashian Jokes About Pregnant Kylie Jenner's Absence in New Family Christmas Picture
Rouhani acknowledges Iranian discontent as protests continue
Theresa May considers move for Boris Johnson in cabinet reshuffle
Colorado police shooting: Police deputy dead as five officers shot in dramatic shoot-out
Second ship suspected of smuggling oil to N. Korea seized
Iran restricts social media and issues stern warning to protesters
Alexa? Cortana? Siri? Choosing the Right Smart Speaker
BREAKING: Sea-plane with ‘four British passengers’ crashes into Hawkesbury River in Sydney
Donald Trump becomes the first president in 40 years not to visit Canada in his first year
Vladimir Putin urges 'cooperation' over 'global threats' in the New Year amid WW3 fears
Iran protests reach THIRD day as demonstrators SHOT by police - 2 dead in 'unjust' attack
Ousted Catalan leader urges Madrid to accept results, negotiate
Manchester fire: Scores of firefighters tackling huge inferno engulfing tower block
State Dept. posts Huma Abedin emails found on Anthony Weiner's laptop
In a BILLION years visitors to Mars will find THIS sports car in orbit around the planet
Russian court upholds ban on Navalny running against Putin in 2018
Iran slams Trump as 'opportunist' and 'deceitful' after support of anti-government protests
2017 Was The Year Of Hacks. 2018 Probably Won’t Be Better
The Pentagon is using AI to fight ISIS but it's not quite the 'Terminator'
Activist Erica Garner dies after heart attack
Obamacare survived 2017. What about 2018?
Australian air force on ALERT as Russian bombers circle Pacific
The best Alexa commands to try with your new Echo
Editors of 'Get Out,' 'I, Tonya,' 'Blade Runner 2049' Dissect Their Cuts
Iranians rally for government after two days of protests
The world is watching - Trump SLAMS Iran over protester arrests amid calls for revolution
Trump is right about the FBI
North Korea says it's not backing down on nuclear development in 2018
Russia-US relations disappoint Kremlin
Trump, Amazon and the Postal Service: The story behind the tweet
Golden Globes 2018: Why nominees are wearing black in protest on the red carpet
Germany’s push for EU army: Merkel developing networks with EU members for military union
Trump Says He Has An ‘Absolute Right’ To Control The Justice Department
Fire engulfs rooftop restaurant in Mumbai killing 15
Russian space experts regain control of 1st Angola satellite
Former British PM Margaret Thatcher refused to fly with a panda
Cairo church shooting: At least four dead after gunman opens fire during morning prayers
Macron to DEMAND Britain pay for French border controls after Brexit
After Trump Criticism, China Says No Illicit Oil Sales to N.Korea
China conducts 'WORLD FIRST' nuclear missile test that could hit target in SECONDS
Trump takes birth control back into court
The top political cartoons of 2017
'Steve Jobs' is an Italian company, and Apple can't do anything about it
Apple apologizes for slowing iPhone
'Worst NYC fire' in 25 years kills at least 12, injures 4 people
Facebook and Twitter threatened with sanctions in UK 'fake news' inquiry
Report: Israel, US Form Joint Plan to Contain Iran
Golden Globes: Hugh Grant, Ricky Martin, Isabelle Huppert Among First Group of Presenters
Alabama judge denies Roy Moore's complaint
Russia Warns U.S.: Don’t ‘Meddle’ In Upcoming Presidential Election
Russia slams US plan to sell anti-missile system to Japan
China 'selling oil to North Korea' in shocking satellite images DESPITE sanctions
Apple and Amazon in talks to set up in Saudi Arabia
40 killed and dozens wounded in suicide bomb blast
Putin says St. Petersburg explosion was terror attack
Roy Moore tries to block Alabama election result
Anthrax found in North Korean defector raises new concerns about country’s biological weapons
Bitcoin price WARNING: Expert MOCKS cryptocurrency – You can't buy McDonald's with bitcoin
China build nuclear power plant on artificial island to 'conquer disputed South China Sea'
Obama Is ‘Most Admired Man’ For 10th Year In A Row, Gallup Poll Says
Volcano ERUPTION: Terrifying video shows Mount Sinabung spew HUGE ash cloud
St Petersburg EXPLOSION video: Aftermath after 'potential mass homicide' in Russia
Putin Critic Navalny Steps Up The Pressure After Kremlin Crackdown
Behind the Scenes of Editing 'Baby Driver'
Trump tests eight 30ft high border walls
End of Merkel: Voters want German Chancellor to QUIT before term ends, shock poll claims
'Black Mirror' returns solid, with some cracks
Obama tells Prince Harry social media leads to ‘different realities’ in dig at Trump
Israel minister plans Trump train station at Western Wall
'Mad About You' Revival in the Works
Why China jails activists at Christmas
Healthy lifestyle and exercise key to staving off alzheimer's, study finds
FSTE 100: Top 10 most popular stocks of 2017
Russia test-fires new ballistic missile designed to 'overcome defence systems'
Kim Jong-un gives sister BIG promotion as she makes rare public appearance in North Korea
Two nighttime quakes shake Santa Clara County
Even for a place that gets a ton of snow, this was a record-breaking two days for Erie
Apple suppliers drop on report of weak iPhone X demand; analysts' views mixed
Kremlin: Russia ready to act as mediator for US and North Korea
Even bitcoin must follow basic economic rules
Tesla Model 3 and 15 other new cars, SUVs that will shake up 2018
Christmas at the Space Station: Astronauts Celebrate with New Tree, Gifts from Earth
Laura Plummer jailed for three years for smuggling drugs into Egypt
North Korea war: Tens of thousands of US citizens to DIE if conflict starts, says Russia
Jodie Whittaker Set for Historical Introduction in 'Doctor Who' Christmas Special
Exclusive: Iconic White House tree to be cut down
Chinese firm clones gene-edited dog in bid to treat cardiovascular disease
Cardinals' Fitzgerald writes Christmas tribute to John McCain
U.S. gets $285M cut in UN’s 2018-19 budget
Donald Trump could snub UK visit if Obama attends Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wedding
JetBlue plane slides off taxiway at Boston airport
South Korean forces to create North Korea nuclear monitoring team
The Sound of Music star Heather Menzies-Urich dies aged 68
First lady Melania Trump tweets Christmas greeting in Santa-hat filter
Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny barred from entering presidential race
BREAKING: Bus ploughs into crowd at busy underground station - five dead and many injured
Prince Harry’s most shocking present for Queen REVEALED as Meghan Markle joins festivities
Text of Pope Francis' traditional Christmas day message
Queen's speech 2017: Queen's picture collection missing some notable Royal Family members
North Korea SHOCK warning: Nuclear weapons now built bigger & quicker than EVER before
Julian Assange's official Twitter account not appearing
Pope speaks out for immigrants in Christmas Eve message
Spain's king attempts to calm Catalonia crisis in Christmas speech
Missing submarine mystery as NEW signal detected, Russian and US ships scramble to scene
Angela Merkel facing New Year NIGHTMARE with ONE WEEK to form government
The Memo: The Top 10 Trump controversies of 2017
Trump Reportedly Told His Friends They Got Richer From Tax Bill
How Trump's first year changed the Middle East
200 skiers stuck on gondola at French Alps resort
Several people killed in Christmas Eve plane crash in Florida
UFOs DO EXIST: Alien existence proved 'BEYOND reasonable doubt' after multiple sightings
Here's the Tesla that Elon Musk will launch into orbit around Mars
Drinking alcohol every day for a month: The FOUR damaging effects on YOUR body
Pennsylvania police shootings were 'terror attack,' DHS says
BREAKING: At least NINE injured in LA after 'machete-wielding rampage by man in gas mask'
Edward Snowden made an app to protect your laptop
North Korea says new UN sanctions an act of war
Few Americans Are Cheering The Repeal Of Net Neutrality
India bus crash kills 33 Hindu pilgrims
Federal judge lifts parts of Trump travel ban
Steelers release veteran LB James Harrison
Miss America leadership resigns after emails shaming past pageant winners come to light
Gogglebox’s Leon Bernicoff Dies, Aged 83
More than 120 killed in Philippines mudslides and floods as storm hits
Christmas shopping horror: Explosion in Spain tourist town leaves several injured
UK royal apologizes for wearing 'racist' brooch to palace lunch with Markle
Fire rips through London Zoo with petting area engulfed in flames, 70 fighters on scene
Terror attack at San Francisco's Pier 39 thwarted, federal authorities say
Climate change could trigger more volcanic eruptions, study finds
Elon Musk and Amber Heard spotted together — again
SpaceX Puts On Breathtaking Show With Falcon 9 Launch
US will provide anti-tank weapons to Ukraine, State Dept. official says
'A ridiculous statement!' Tory MP slaps down Gina Miller's criticism of blue passports
Arsenal 3 - Liverpool 3: Sanchez and Salah on target in thrilling Emirates encounter
Space Tourism: Russia Plans Luxury Hotel on the ISS
UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on North Korea over missile test
Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon Tell Trump Christmas Tales
Elizabeth Vargas Leaving ABC News After Two Decades
Madrid train crash: Up to 45 people injured and four seriously hurt near Spain capital
Mexico bus crash victims killed include 8 Americans
Bitcoin lost a third of its value in 24 hours
Boris Johnson in Russia: UK-Russo relations at 'a low level' Lavrov warns Britain
How Tesla and Elon Musk Are Designing a New Paradigm for Drivers
Catalan separatists win majority in election, in rebuke to Spain and EU
Close