* Date : 2018-01-16
High-Level Inter-Korean Talks
First Inter-Korean Talks in More Than 2 Years
At last, South and North Korea have returned to the path of dialogue. On January 9th at 10 a.m., high level officials from the two Koreas sat down on the negotiating table for the first time in just over 2 years. Signs of thawing tensions were first detected on January 1st, when North Korean leader Kim Jong-un delivered his New Year's address. Kim wished South Korea success in hosting the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics, while expressing his interest in sending a North Korean delegation to the games. An inter-Korean hotline was reopened shortly thereafter, and cross-border relations gained significant traction after Pyongyang accepted Seoul's proposal to hold formal talks. On January 9th, delegations from the two Koreas held a cordial meeting, after which the two sides released a joint statement including North Korea's agreement to participate in the Winter Olympics, heralding a new change in inter-Korean relations.
Reactions from Neighboring Countries
With inter-Korean relations showing signs of coming out of a deep freeze, many countries around the world turned their eyes toward the Korean Peninsula. The reactions from neighboring countries were generally positive, and the United States in particular expressed its full support for the cross-border talks. President Trump described it as a "good thing" while China welcomed the move as a potential breakthrough in inter-Korean relations. However, the response out of Japan was rather mixed, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe praising North Korea's improved behavior, but also adding that dialogue for the sake of dialogue was meaningless. In this week's edition of Foreign Correspondents, we will hold a variety of discussion on the first inter-Korean talks to take place in more than 2 years.