2 Koreas to hold senior-level talks in Seoul

Associated Press
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In this photo released by the South Korean Unification Ministry, Kim Song Hye, center, the head of North Korea's delegation, shakes hands with an unidentified South Korean officer before crossing a military demarcation line, which has separated the two Koreas since the Korean War, for a meeting with South Korean delegates at Panmunjom in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, June 9, 2013. Government delegates from North and South Korea began preparatory talks Sunday at the "truce village" on their heavily armed border aimed at setting ground rules for a higher-level discussion on easing animosity and restoring stalled rapprochement projects. (AP Photo/South Korean Unification Ministry, HO)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says the rival Koreas will hold senior-level talks this week in Seoul in a bid to ease tensions.

The 2-day gathering beginning Wednesday marks a breakthrough of sorts after years of animosity. Recent months tensions intensified with threats of nuclear war from Pyongyang and vows of counterstrikes from Seoul.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday that officials will discuss the resumption of a stalled jointly-run factory park and other inter-Korean projects.

Lower level officials paved the way for the summit in a nearly 17-hour negotiating session starting Sunday.

Seoul will send its top official for inter-Korean affairs while Pyongyang only says it's sending a senior level official.