The measures detailed in a joint statement included what amounted to an extremely rare public apology from North Korea, which 'expressed regret' over mine blasts this month that maimed two South Korean soldiers on border patrol.
    
In response, the South agreed to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts into North Korea which it had resumed after a break of more than a decade in retaliation for the mine blasts. The loudspeakers will be switched off midday tomorrow, at which time the North will lift a 'semi war state' declared last week by leader Kim Jong Un.
    
The two also agreed to work towards a resumption next month of reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, and to hold official talks in either Seoul or Pyongyang at a date to be decided.

The agreement, which appeared to cover all the major areas of contention, came after days and nights of grueling negotiations which began early Saturday evening in the border truce village of Panmunjom.
    
Tensions continued to rise as the discussions were taking place, with South Korean and US jets flying simulated bombing runs, and North Korea reportedly deploying two thirds of its 70-vessel submarine fleet

Kim said the agreed measures would not only settle the current crisis, but also provide a 'new momentum' for inter Korean relations in the future. The Panmunjom talks between Kim and his North Korean counterpart Hwang Pyong-So a close confidant of leader Kim Jong Un were the highest level inter Korean talks for nearly a year.

 

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