North Korea on Friday morning accepted South Korea's proposal for official talks, setting the stage for the two rivals to have person-to-person dialogue next Tuesday.
South Korea's Unification Ministry Baik Tae-hyun told reporters that North Korea informed them by fax at 10:16 a.m. local time that they have accepted their proposal for talks, CNN reported:
The person-to-person talks will be held January 9th at the Peace House, located on the South Korean side of the village of Panmunjom, located in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between the two nations, Baik said.
The announcement comes on the heels of other signs of nascent rapprochement between the two rivals.
In recent days a hotline between Seoul and Pyongyang, which had remained unused for two years, rang once again, in what has been widely regarded as a major diplomatic breakthrough. At least five calls have been placed through the cross-border channel since.
Contact between the two Koreas was initiated after North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's comments at his annual New Year's Day address. He said that he was hopeful that a North Korean delegation could be a part of the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea next month.
In addition to talking about the Olympics, he expressed optimism that he could reach a peaceful resolution to the decades-old conflict with South Korea. The two Koreas have technically been at war since 1953 when the Korean War ended in an armistice.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in told CNN that he believes North Korea's participation in the Winter Games could "provide a very good opportunity for inter-Korean peace and reconciliation."