Seoul, South Korea The two Koreas will have talks late this month aimed at improving relations, a South Korean official said Thursday, the first sign of easing tensions between the countries after the North signed a nuclear disarmament agreement.
North Korea's top envoy to six-nation nuclear talks also said Pyongyang is ready to implement the accord reached earlier this week, Japan's Kyodo News agency reported.
"The talks went well," the agency quoted North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan as saying after returning from Beijing. "We are ready to implement the results of the meeting."
The Cabinet-level talks between the two Koreas will be in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, from Feb. 27 to March 2, according to a statement adopted at a lower-level meeting Thursday in the North Korean border city of Kaesong.
South and North Korea have had 19 high-level meetings since 2000, but they have been suspended amid chilled relations following North Korea's missile launches in July and its nuclear test in October.
The meetings have served as a forum for discussing Seoul's aid to the impoverished North and could lead to a resumption of the regular delivery of rice and fertilizer to the communist nation. South Korea suspended aid after the missile tests in July.
South Korean delegate Lee Kwan-se said the planned talks will help "advance reconciliation and cooperation between the South and the North, and promote peace on the Korean peninsula."