S Korea, DPRK kick off high-level talks

CNC
Added On January 9, 2018

South Korea and the DPRK are to hold ministerial-level talks on Tuesday, their first in two years.
 
The meeting is being seen a sign of a thaw in inter-Korean relations.
 
Talks between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) are taking place at the truce village of Panmunjom, on the South Korean side.
 
Both sides are represented by a five-member delegation specializing in inter-Korean issues. 
 
The DPRK delegation is being led by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland. The South Korean delegation is headed by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon.
 
Ri said in his introductory remarks he hoped to give the Korean Peninsula the first New Year's gift, namely the, quote, "precious outcome" of the talks.
 
Cho said the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games were anticipated to be a festival for peace as there would be a delegation from the DPRK.
 
Cho added the inter-Korean dialogue was resumed after a long hiatus, and called on the DPRK to continue talks with will and patience.
 
Officials from both sides overseeing the Olympics and other sporting activities are also joining the talks.
 
Reports say Pyongyang will send a high-ranking delegation as well as athletes and cheering squad to participate in the Winter Olympics.
 
)other issues such as the reunion of separated families and humanitarian aid could also be discussed in the one-day meeting. 
 
While international observers are watching Tuesday's meeting with cautious optimism, many see this as first step towards a rapprochement between the two sides.