North Korea Accused of ‘Unusual’ Military Activity Amid Talks With South

The initial decision to start negotiations came hours ahead of a Saturday deadline set by North Korea for the South to dismantle the propaganda loudspeakers.

Advertisement

South Korea will stop its propaganda broadcasts over the border on Tuesday, Kim said.

The two countries entered negotiations on Saturday, which have yielded no outcome even after three days. As The Associated Press notes: “the conversation itself is considered somewhat of a victory”.

Meanwhile more than 50 North Korean submarines – 70 per cent of its entire fleet – have left their bases.

Yonhap reported the two sides also agreed to exchange lists of family members in North and South Korea who have been separated by the political division of the Korean peninsula after the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two sides hope to stage the reunions around Chuseok, a major fall harvest holiday celebrated in both Koreas, that falls on September 27.

“It is very meaningful that from this meeting North Korea apologised for the landmine provocation and promised to work to prevent the recurrence of such events and ease tensions”, Kim Kwan-jin, national security adviser to South Korean President Park Geun-hye, told a televised news briefing. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had last Friday declared a “quasi-state of war” and warned that his country was prepared to go to all-out war. Chinese President Xi Jinping, himself in office since late 2012, has made it clear he believes North Korea should abandon nuclear weapons – a position not appreciated by Pyongyang.

“They are not talking for the sake of a breakdown but for the sake of agreement”.

North and South Korea have struck a deal following talks aimed at ending tensions, according to the Yonhap news agency.

Anti-North Korean activists hold signs and shout slogans as they stand on the Unification Bridge that leads to the Demilitarised Zone between North and South Korea in Paju, yesterday.

Ties have been virtually frozen since the 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship, which Seoul has blamed on a North Korean submarine. North Korea will apologize for a land mine placed along the border, which wounded two South Korean soldiers earlier this month. Pyongyang denies responsibility.

South Korea said that it fired back a barrage of artillery into the DPRK in frontlines areas Thursday after the DPRK shelling of the southern part of the DMZ, but Pyongyang also denied the allegation.

Tuesday’s agreement noted that the South’s undertaking to turn off the propaganda loudspeakers would be null and void if “an abnormal case occurs” – an apparent reference to future provocations.

Advertisement

The spokesman also praised the South for remaining “resolute” throughout the crisis.

KOREA CRISIS: 'Apologise and we'll stop broadcasts', South Korea tells Kim Jong-Un