North and South Korea agreed early on Sunday to take steps to reopen a jointly run industrial park after 16 hours of talks. The agreement marks a crucial step forward in winding down months of high tension between the two rivals.
Delegates from North and South Korea began talks Saturday on re-opening the Kaesong joint industrial zone, which had been seen as the last remaining symbol of cross-border reconciliation. The factory park was closed in April amid rising tensions.
The US government on Sunday said it will discuss North Korea’s offer of talks next week with its regional allies, but that any fresh discussions must involve Pyongyang demonstrating a willingness to scrap its nuclear weapons.
The first high-level talks between North and South Korea in years were cancelled a day before they were due to begin on Wednesday, after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on delegation leaders, South Korea said.
US President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping met for a second day of discussions in California on Saturday, broaching a range of thorny issues such as cyber hacking, climate change and North Korea.
In what will be the first official talks between the two nations since February 2011, North and South Korea have agreed to hold discussions at the border village of Panmunjom on Sunday - the latest sign tensions on the Korean Peninsula are easing.
North Korea said Thursday it would agree to hold talks with Seoul on reopening the joint industrial zone of Kaesong. The complex was shut down after the North withdrew its workers in April amid soaring military tensions on the peninsula.
North Korea said Tuesday it would allow South Korean managers to visit the Kaesong joint economic zone but declined to enter into talks with Seoul on re-opening the complex, which was closed in April amid heightened tensions on the peninsula.