SEOUL, Aug. 24 (UPI) — South and North Korea have reached a landmark agreement to resolve tensions along the demilitarized zone after four days of marathon talks that occurred alongside a military buildup along the border.
The deal was reached when the North agreed to express “regret” over the land mine explosions that critically injured two South Korean soldiers in early August, the BBC reported.
In exchange, Seoul has agreed to accept Pyongyang’s request to stop loudspeaker broadcasts across the DMZ that resumed on Aug. 10 after an 11-year hiatus.
The watershed in inter-Korea relations marks a brief pause to the dramatic rise in tensions that culminated in four days of negotiations from Aug. 22 to the early hours of Aug. 25, local time.
Min Kyung-wook, a spokesman for South Korea’s presidential Blue House, said that North-South high-level talks concluded at 55 minutes after midnight on Tuesday, and that South Korean National Security Adviser Kim Kwan-Jin was to give a briefing at about 2 a.m. at the Blue House, Yonhap reported.
It is expected Kim is to announce North Korea’s expression of “regret” over the recent provocations that would in turn grant Pyongyang their request to dismantle South Korea’s loudspeakers.
The deal comes less than two days after uncertainty presided over the talks on Sunday, when both sides could not agree on the terms of negotiation. The final meeting began on Sunday evening after a hiatus in the late afternoon that invited speculation of a political impasse.
Yonhap reported the two sides also agreed to exchange lists of family members in North and South Korea who have been separated by the political division of the Korean peninsula after the 1950-53 Korean War.