11 January 2018

South Africa Welcomes the First High Level Talks in Almost Two Years Between the Two Koreas

press release

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation welcomes the first high-level bilateral meeting in almost two years between the Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), which took place on Tuesday, 9 January 2018 at the truce village of Panmunjeom near the inter-Korean border.

The two sides reportedly agreed that the North (DPRK) would send a large-sized delegation, including athletes, a support squad and officials, to the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games that are scheduled to kick off on 9 February 2018 in PyeongChang in the South (ROK). In the joint press statement issued after the talks, the two Koreas indicated that they will soon hold follow-up talks to deal with the logistics concerning the participation in the Games. Seoul and Pyongyang reportedly also agreed to resume talks between their militaries to reduce current tensions on the Korean Peninsula and revitalize exchanges in "various other fields", including to restore a communication hotline in the West Sea.

South Africa is encouraged by the resumption of direct, inter-Korean dialogue as the best way forward to ensure lasting peace and prosperity to all on the Korean Peninsula, for the entire world's benefit. We wish to pledge our full support for this joint initiative as it unfolds and progresses.

Issued by: Department of International Relations and Cooperation

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