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Koreas hold first talks in more than a year

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  • Talks come after North Korea's recent test launch of a long-range rocket
  • The talks are the first since South Korean President Lee took office last year
  • North Korea proposed the talks
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(CNN) -- Government officials from South Korea arrived in the North on Tuesday for the first inter-Korean talks in more than a year.

A South Korean delegation arrives at a transit office in Paju, South Korea, near the Demilitarized Zone Tuesday.

A South Korean delegation arrives at a transit office in Paju, South Korea, near the Demilitarized Zone Tuesday.

The details surrounding the session were sketchy. The exact nature of the talks, their agenda and location were to be determined after the delegation's arrival, a Unification Ministry official said.

The talks come amid heightened political tensions on the peninsula, after the recent test launch of a long-range rocket by North Korea.

The launch was quickly condemned by the U.N. Security Council as a violation of a resolution banning ballistic missile testing. North Korea subsequently expelled U.S. nuclear experts and U.N. nuclear inspectors, ended six-party talks and said it will reactivate all its nuclear facilities.

North Korea proposed the talks last week -- the first talks since South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office in February last year.

Rapprochement talks between the two sides have hit a wall since the conservative Lee took office with a tougher stance toward the North than his liberal predecessor Roh Moo-Hyun.

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The two countries have technically remained in conflict since the Korean War ended in 1953, although relations have warmed somewhat in the past few years. The Korean conflict ended in a truce, but no formal peace treaty was ever signed.

The six-party talks -- involving China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States -- are aimed at disarming the North of nuclear weapons.

CNN's Jiyeon Lee contributed to this report.

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