Connect with us

World

North, South Korea reach agreement to ease tensions

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

North, South Korea reach agreement to ease tensions | Thaiger

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– World news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

North, South Korea reach agreement to ease tensions
Phuket Gazette / Reuters


PHUKET: North and South Korea reached agreement early on Tuesday to end a standoff involving an
exchange of artillery fire that had pushed the divided peninsula into a state of heightened military tension.

Under the accord reached in the very early hours of Tuesday after more than two days of talks, North Korea expressed regret over the recent wounding of South Korean soldiers in landmine blasts and Seoul agreed to halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts, both sides said.

North Korea also agreed to end the “semi” state of war it had declared. The two sides will hold follow-up talks to discuss a range of issues on improving ties, the joint statement said.

“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.

South Korean defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said both sides would begin rolling back heightened military postures at noon (0300 GMT), when the loudspeaker broadcasts will formally halt and the North’s state of war status will be lifted.

Pyongyang has previously denied laying the landmines, and in the statement did not explicitly take responsibility for them.

The marathon talks at the Panmunjom truce village inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas began on Saturday, shortly after Pyongyang’s deadline for the South to halt its propaganda broadcasts or face military action.

“They both made compromises. South Korea did not get an apology, they got a statement of regret about the injury, which they can spin as an apology,” said John Delury of Yonsei University in Seoul.

“The more important point is maintaining this channel and reopening the relationship. This is hardly going to be easy to implement, but it’s a landmark agreement which lays out a path.”

Seoul and Pyongyang have remained technically in a state of war since the 1950-53 Korean war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, and hopes for improved relations have repeatedly been dashed over the years.

Inter-Korean relations have been all but frozen since the 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship, which killed 46 sailors, that Seoul blames on the North. Pyongyang denies responsibility.

Under Tuesday’s deal, the two sides also agreed to arrange reunions of families separated by the Korean War during upcoming autumn holidays and in future.

“What’s important now is to carry forward specific projects agreed by South and North smoothly through follow-up talks so as to ease tensions between South and North,” Park’s presidential office quoted her as saying.

Park, halfway through her single five-year term, has been largely unsuccessful in her efforts to improve ties with the reclusive and impoverished North.

LANDMINES AND LOUDSPEAKERS

The recent escalation in tensions began early this month, when the landmine explosions in the DMZ wounded two South Korean soldiers.

Days later, the South began blasting anti-Pyongyang propaganda from loudspeakers along the border, reviving a tactic that both sides had halted in 2004.

The standoff reached a crisis point on Thursday when the North fired four shells into the South, according to Seoul, which responded with a barrage of artillery fire.

Pyongyang then made its ultimatum that Seoul halt the broadcasts by Saturday afternoon or face military action, but on that day the two sides agreed to hold talks between top level aides to the leaders of the two countries.

Even as talks were proceeding, North Korea deployed twice the usual artillery strength at the border and had around 50 submarines away from base, the South’s defence ministry said. South Korea had also increased its military readiness.

Some of the North’s submarines were detected returning to base, Kim, the South’s defence ministry spokesman, said.

Washington and the United Nations welcomed the agreement.

“We’re going to judge the North by its actions,” U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby told a briefing. “It was a very tense several days.”

North Korea is under U.N. and U.S. sanctions because of repeated nuclear and missile tests, moves that Pyongyang sees as an attack on its sovereign right to defend itself.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Health Department warns: Avoid Covid-19, don’t have sex

Coronavirus (Covid-19)10 hours ago

PM Prayut announces Thailand will fully reopen within 120 days

Transport13 hours ago

Thai Airways rehabilitation plan accepted by Bankruptcy Court

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | PM apologises, vaccine delays, Pattaya sandbox? and sharks | June 16

Coronavirus (Covid-19)13 hours ago

Restaurants request easing of Covid-19 rules and financial aid

Thailand14 hours ago

Isaan farmer and son electrocuted and killed by wire fence in rice field

Thailand14 hours ago

Another data breach: Info leaked on Bangkok Immigration website

Crime15 hours ago

Krabi men arrested after TikTok video of a shark shot and killed goes viral

Thailand16 hours ago

Thailand’s FDA doesn’t approve Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, cites missing data

Best of16 hours ago

Top 8 Things to do in Krabi

Thailand16 hours ago

Thai government apologises for data leak, blames “temporary glitch”

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

6 school closed after infections are found

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 2,331 new cases; provincial totals

Best of19 hours ago

Top 5 Meditation Centres and Retreats in Thailand

Phuket19 hours ago

Thai police chief donates 100,000 baht to Phuket man shot by a drunk officer

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending