North, South Korea to hold working-level talks on Jan 15


An official of Seoul's Unification Ministry said the South Korean Red Cross informed its counterpart in the North through the liaison office at the truce village of Panmunjeom on Friday about the incident.

The accords also include the holding of talks on reducing tension, to be attended by military officials of the two Koreas.

On Tuesday, the two countries held ministerial-level talks in Panmunjom, their first high-level dialogue in about two years, agreeing that North Korea will join the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games slated to run from February to March in South Korea's eastern county of Pyeongchang.

Previous year they performed a show celebrating North Korea's nuclear programme and footage from the concert, which was attended by Kim Jong-un and aired on state television, showed the band dressed as sailors. Imports from the country also plunged 82 percent in December.

Washington and Pyongyang are in a stand-off over North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes, which could be used to target the United States and its allies.

China's imports from last month fell 81.6 percent from December 2016, to $54.34 million, their lowest level in four years, according to Reuters. All told, trade between the two sides fell nearly 51 percent during the month.

The North Korean women had gathered in the Chinese province of Shandong on January 4 and begun their journey to South Korea via Vietnam, Laos and Thailand, the activist said.

Donald Trump has suggested he has a "very good relationship" with Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader he previously threatened to "totally destroy" over the country's increasingly serious nuclear threats, reported The Independent.

The article concluded that North Korea "will open the door of dialogue, contact and travel to anyone in South Korea, including the ruling party and opposition parties, organizations and individual personages of all backgrounds, if they truly want national reconciliation and unity".

North Korea is pursuing an objective of holding dialogue, as a "nuclear nation", with the United States and winning a U.S. guarantee of being able to perpetuate its regime.