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  • On the list of the talks are reunions for divided families like those of South Korean Kwon O-Hui (L) and her North Korean relative Ri Han-Sik, pictured in October 2015.

    On the list of the talks are reunions for divided families like those of South Korean Kwon O-Hui (L) and her North Korean relative Ri Han-Sik, pictured in October 2015. | Photo: AFP

Published 26 November 2015

This the first meeting between the two countries since August when they were on the brink of an armed conflict.

Senior officials from North and South Korea held talks in a border village, the first such meeting since an agreement in August that de-escalated a standoff between the two nations, barely avoiding an armed conflict.

The meeting took place at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone.

Tension between the two sides reached high levels in August when two South Korean soldiers were injured in a landmine explosion. South Korea blamed its northern neighbor, but Pyongyang denied it had planted the landmine.

Seoul then retaliated by propaganda broadcasts into the north, leading Pyongyang to declare a "semi-state of war," deploying troops to the front line. But after talks, also held at Panmunjom, the two countries reached a deal to de-escalate tensions with the South stopping the broadcasts and the North pulling back troops.

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The South's chief negotiator, Kim Ki-Woong, told reporters before the meeting: "We are resolved to maintaining the momentum for dialogue that was started by the August agreement."

In June 2013, a similar meeting took place with similar objectives but did not lead to concrete results.

Likely topics on today meeting’s agenda include South Korea's desire for regular reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War that cemented the division of the Korean peninsula. North Korea, meanwhile, will want to discuss the resumption of South Korean tour groups to its scenic Mount Kumgang resort, which Seoul suspended in 2008.

Analysts consider any meeting or talks a step in right direction as the the two nations have been technically at state of war since the end of the Korean armed conflict in 1953.

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