S. Korea, DPRK to discuss Pyongyang's participation in PyeongChang Winter Olympics during high-level talks

SEOUL, Jan. 8 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will discuss issues of mutual concern during the upcoming high-level talks, Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday. 

Unification Ministry spokesman Baek Tae-hyun told a press briefing that the upcoming dialogue will first focus on the DPRK's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Issues of mutual concern to improve inter-Korean relations would be on the dialogue agenda, such as urgent issues which South Korea proposed in July last year to talk about, the spokesman said. 

The Moon Jae-in government of South Korea, which was inaugurated in May last year, offered to hold military talks with the DPRK to stop any hostile act near the military demarcation line (MDL) dividing the two Koreas and humanitarian talks for the reunion of separated families.

People from the two sides have been banned from visiting and contacting each other since the 1950-53 Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. The Korean Peninsula remains technically in a state of war.

South Korea and the DPRK exchanged the lists of its respective five-member delegation over the weekend for the upcoming senior-level, inter-governmental talks, the first inter-Korean dialogue in about two years.

The South Korean delegation will be led by Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon, while the DPRK side will be led by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fartherland.

Baek said the plenary session would kick off at 10 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) Tuesday at Peace House in the South Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom.

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