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Two Koreas to go ahead with scheduled reunion of families separated by war

Published on Feb 14, 2014 4:16 PM
Head of the North Korean high-level delegation, Won Tong Yon (left) shakes hands with his South Korean counterpart Kim Kyou-hyun upon his arrival at the Peace House on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone, north of Seoul, on Friday, Feb 14, 2014. North and South Korea agreed on Friday to hold a reunion for families divided by the Korean War as planned, Seoul said, despite North Korean concerns over overlapping South Korea-US military drills. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (AFP) - High-level talks between the rival Koreas ended on Friday with a rare agreement to go ahead as planned with a reunion for divided families, despite the North’s objections to overlapping South Korea-US military drills.

The two sides also agreed to stop exchanging verbal insults and to continue their nascent dialogue at a convenient date, according to a joint statement read to reporters in Seoul by South Korea’s chief talks delegate Kim Kyou Hyun.

The agreement, which was also carried on the North’s official KCNA news agency, suggested a significant concession by North Korea which had wanted the South to postpone the February 24 start of its annual military drills with the United States until after the reunion.

The South had refused, arguing that the two issues – one humanitarian and one military – should not be linked.

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