North, South Korea hold high-level talks meant to ease animosity

Hwang Boogi, center, South Korea's vice minister of unification and the head negotiator for high-level talks with North Korea, speaks to the media before leaving for Kaesong, at the office of inter-Korean Dialogue in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. North and South Korea on Friday were set to hold the talks at a North Korean border town in their latest step to improve ties after they walked away from a military standoff in August. (Hwang Kwang-mo/Yonhap via AP) KOREA OUT

SEOUL (TIP): North and South Korea on Friday held high-level talks at a North Korean border town, a small step meant to improve ties battered by a military standoff in August and decades of acrimony and bloodshed.

No major breakthrough was expected at the meeting of vice-ministerial officials in Kaesong, but analysts see even these relatively low-level talks as meaningful because they seek to carry out previously agreed reconciliation efforts —something the rivals have often failed to do in the past.

South Korean officials want to discuss more reunions between aging family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. Analysts have said cash-strapped North Korea might seek the South’s commitment to restart joint tours to its scenic Diamond Mountain resort, which were suspended by Seoul in 2008 following the shooting death of a South Korean tourist there by a North Korean soldier. (AP)

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