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North and South Korea begin official talks

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North and South Korea have begun high-level talks, the first between the countries in two years, after months of high tensions over Pyongyang’s weapons ambitions. The meeting is taking place at the Peace House in the truce village of Panmunjom with the focus on North Korea’s possible participation in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, taking place in South Korea in February.

South Korea also said it would raise ways to improve inter-Korean relations. If the North agrees, one of the top agenda items will be whether the two Koreas’ sportspeople make joint entrances to the opening and closing ceremonies, as they did for Sydney 2000, Athens 2004 and the 2006 Winter Games in Torino.

The long-stalled talks come after the North’s leader Kim Jong-Un indicated in his New Year’s speech that Pyongyang was willing to send a delegation to the Winter Games in the South.

Seoul responded with an offer of a high-level dialogue, and last week the hotline between the neighbours was restored after being suspended for almost two years.

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