Koreas agree to revive peace talks

Meetings could pave way to peace treaty after more than 50 years of tensions.

    Talks could see the South resuming food and
    fertiliser aid deliveries to North Korea [EPA]

    "We had a consensus that South-North relations should be restored promptly."

    Lee Kwan-se, South Korean delegate

    The decision to resume talks follows a meeting by officials from both sides in the North Korean border city of Kaesong, just two days after a landmark six-nation agreement was signed in Beijing on North's nuclear programme.
     
    According to South Korean news reports, Maeng Kyong Il, North Korea's chief delegate to the meeting said he hoped for a new start in relations between the two countries.
     
    "There should not be repeated vicious cycles of North-South relations frequently breaking down," he was quoted as saying.
     
    Peace treaty
     
    Both nations have remained technically at war for 54 years since the Korean War in 1953 without a formal peace treaty.
     
    The Beijing agreement signed on Tuesday included a clause urging both North and South Korea to work towards a treaty replacing the current uneasy ceasefire.
     

    Officials from both Koreas say they are hoping
    end decades of tensions on the peninsula [AP]

    Lee Kwan-se, a South Korean delegate, said the two sides jad agreed that the ministerial-level talks should resume "as early as possible".
     
    "We had a consensus that South-North relations should be restored promptly."
     
    The South Korean and US presidents have also acknowledged that "they were now at a starting point to kick-start the process of resolving the North Korea nuclear issue".
     
    Roh Moo-hyun said he spoke to George Bush and both "stressed that each country should sincerely implement" the nuclear deal, according to a statement from Roh's office on Thursday.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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