In a joint statement issued at the end of cabinet-level talks in Seoul on Friday, the two countries also said they would cooperate to make upcoming six-nation talks on the Korean peninsula's nuclear crisis "fruitful."

"South and North agreed to hold a military official meeting soon to ease military tension on the Korean peninsula," the two sides said in a joint statement.

Reunions planned

Both sides also agreed to hold a new round of reunions in late March for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The reunions will take place at the North's east coast Diamond Mountain resort.

The two Koreas also agreed to hold another round of cabinet-level talks in the North's capital of Pyongyang between 4-7 May.

The meetings are the highest level regular contacts between the rival Koreas. The Korean Peninsula was divided at the end of World War two.

This week's talks were the 13th since the 2000 summit of the Korean leaders.

Nuclear impasse

The talks also covered the contentious issue of North's nuclear capability.

South Korea wants the North to commit itself to a complete and verifiable dismantling of its nuclear programmes during the six-nation meeting scheduled to begin in Beijing on 25 February.