The meeting comes as a series of incidents raised fears that the conflict could spiral out of control, starting with a land mine attack allegedly by the North that maimed two South Korean soldiers and the South’s resumption of anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts. The South Korean presidential office said its national security director, Kim Kwan-jin, and Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo would sit down with Hwang Pyong So, the top political officer for the Korean People’s Army, and Kim Yang Gon, a senior North Korean official responsible for South Korean affairs. The meeting, scheduled for 6 p.m. Seoul time (0900 GMT) in Panmunjom, would come 30 minutes after the deadline set by North Korea for South Korea to dismantle loudspeakers broadcasting anti-North Korean propaganda at their border.
- South Korea and North Korea agreed Saturday to hold their first high-level talks in nearly a year at a border village to defuse mounting tensions that have pushed the rivals to the brink of a possible military confrontation.
- South Korea’s military on Thursday fired dozens of artillery rounds across the border in response to what Seoul said were North Korean artillery strikes meant to back up a threat to attack the loudspeakers.
- An official from South Korea’s Defense Ministry, who didn’t want to be named because of office rules, said that the South would continue with the anti-Pyongyang border broadcasts until the end of North Korea’s deadline, but said a decision had yet to be made on whether to continue with the broadcasts if the high-level meeting goes on as planned.