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South And North Korea Agree To Hold High-level Talks Next Week

South and North Korea agreed to hold high-level talks next week to discuss Pyongyang's potential participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and ways to improve ties, according to reports.

North Korea notified Seoul that it has accepted South Korea's latest offer for talks on January 9, according to Seoul's unification ministry.

"The two sides decided to discuss working-level issues for the talks by exchanging documents," Baik Tae-hyun, ministry spokesman at the ministry, told a press briefing.

The move comes as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un expressed willingness to send a delegation to the Olympics to be held in the South next month and said the country is open to inter-Korean talks over the matter. The South proposed Tuesday for a high-level meeting in response.

The agreement came as the South Korea and the United States agreed late Thursday to delay their joint military drills during the Winter Olympics.

North Korea has long denounced the military drills as a war rehearsal and used them as an excuse for its provocations. But the South and the U.S. said that the exercises are defensive in nature.

Next week's talks will be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015.

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