Rare talks between 2 Koreas underway at border

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean media say North Korea and South Korea have begun talks at their border about how to cooperate in next month’s Winter Olympics and how to improve their long-strained ties.

Yonhap news agency reported that the first talks between the rivals in about two years began as scheduled Tuesday morning at the border village of Panmunjom.

YTN television network carried a similar report.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been making an apparent push for improved ties with the South after a year of elevated tension over his country’s nuclear and missile tests.

Critics, though, say Kim might be trying to divide Seoul and Washington to weaken international pressure and sanctions over the tests.

Kim Jong Un had said in his New Year’s Day address that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics being held next month in Pyeongyang, South Korea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed Kim’s overture and the proposed talks.

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