North Korea accepts South Korea's peace talk proposal
North Korea on Friday officially accepted South Korea's proposal for high-level talks which is being seen as a major breakthrough in the relations between the two countries. The talks, scheduled to be held on January 9, will be the first between two Koreas since December 2015.
The meeting is expected to be held at Panmunjom, a border town which is under the demilitarised zone (DMZ).
In a bid to lessen the tensions on the Korean peninsula, South Korea had on Tuesday proposed holding high-level talks with Pyongyang.
North Korea leader Kim Jong-un, had in his New Year address, expressed an interest in dialogue and indicated that North Korea wants to take part in the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
In his speech on Monday, Kim said the Olympics could provide a reason for officials from the neighbours "to meet in the near future". Seoul and the Games organisers are keen for the North to take part. According to reports, after welcoming Kim's address, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had asked his government earlier in the day to move as quickly as possible to bring North Korea to the Olympics.
Later, South Korea's unification minister Cho Myoung-Gyon said Seoul was willing to hold talks with the North at "any time and place in any form".
"We hope that the South and North can sit face to face and discuss the participation of the North Korean delegation at the Pyeongchang Games as well as other issues of mutual interest for the improvement of inter-Korean ties," he had said at a press conference.
North Korea's repeated missiles tests and the testing of a Hydrogen Bomb last year had threatened peace in the region.