Pyongyang has expressed “regret” about a recent land-mine explosion that maimed two soldiers from the South While South Korea has agreed on Tuesday to halt propaganda broadcasts into North Korea.
The agreement, reached after 30 hours of tense negotiations, defused the latest confrontation on the Korean peninsula that had threatened to turn into a military confrontation.
Earlier Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye demanded an apology from its communist neighbor for injuring the two South Korean border guards. Seoul said it would not turn off its propaganda loudspeakers at the border without the apology. North Korea had denied responsibility for the incident.
South Korean presidential security adviser Kim Kwan-jin said the two Koreas also agreed to hold talks soon, either in Seoul or Pyongyang, about improving ties, 62 years after they ended the Korean War with a truce, not a peace treaty. The two sides said they will resume reunions in September for families separated by the Cold War-era conflict.
The United States, a staunch ally of South Korea, welcomed the agreement and said it hoped tensions on the Korean peninsula will be diminished.
State Department spokesman John Kirby called the accord a compromise. He said it now is up to North Korea “to act and not simply make assurances” about its military activities along the border between the two countries.