North and South Korea hold talks to boost ties

Friday, 11 December 2015 - 14:07


Efforts to ease tensions after August standoff come as UN Security Council discusses the North's human-rights abuses.

North and South Korea have held high-level talks at a North Korean border town, aiming to ease tensions and improve ties that degenerated after a military standoff in August.

Hwang Boo-gi, South Korea's vice unification minister and the head negotiator, met his North Korean counterpart on Friday at the jointly run industrial park just over the border in the North's Kaesong city, foreign media reports.

South Korean officials want to discuss more reunions in the border town of Panmunjom between ageing family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Friday's talks arise from an exchange of artillery fire across the militarized zone in August which prompted a prolonged session of high-level talks between the two rivals.

That led to deal which mandated that they should have regular contact, and Friday's meeting is the first in that process.

There is speculation North Korea might seek the South's commitment to restart joint tours to its scenic Diamond Mountain resort, which were suspended by the South in 2008 following the shooting death of a South Korean tourist there by a North Korean soldier.

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