Koreas to hold defense meeting to ease tensions

The Associated Press

A group of South Korean military officers has headed to a rare meeting with North Korean officials to try to lay the groundwork for high-level defense talks aimed at easing hostilities on the peninsula.

Tuesday's meeting marks the first official dialogue between the two Koreas following the North's artillery barrage on a front-line South Korean island in November that killed four people.

Seoul's Defense Ministry says three colonel-level officers of the two Koreas will meet at the border village of Panmunjom to set a date and work out other details for higher-level defense talks.

The high-level talks — if realized — are meant to discuss the artillery bombardment and March's deadly sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on North Korea.