Skip to main content

North and South Korea to hold 'high-level' meeting

By Jethro Mullen and K.J. Kwon, CNN
updated 5:33 AM EST, Tue February 11, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The talks will take place on the South Korean side of the border
  • There is no agenda for the meeting, but planned family reunions are likely to be discussed
  • North Korea has warned it may back out of the reunions, scheduled for later this month
  • It has urged South Korea not to participate in annual military drills with the United States

Seoul, South Korea (CNN) -- North and South Korea will hold a "high-level meeting" Wednesday ahead of planned family reunions of people from the two countries, Seoul said Tuesday.

"No agenda was set prior to this meeting," Kim Eui-do, a spokesman for the South Korean Unification Ministry said. "But we expect that there will be comprehensive dialogue on the smooth operation of these family reunions, holding the family reunions on a regular basis and other important areas of interest."

The talks will start Wednesday morning at the Panmunjom Peace House, which is on the South's side of the heavily militarized border, Kim said.

N. Korea may cancel family reunions
Korean peninsula reunions on the way?
American's plea from North Korean prison

Pyongyang said last week it may back out of the reunions of the families -- who were separated by the Korean War in the 1950s -- if South Korean forces participate in annual joint military exercises with the United States later this month.

The reunions of about 200 people -- 100 from each country -- are scheduled to take place between February 20 and 25 at a resort on the North's side of the heavily militarized border.

The annual military drills, which are due to start on February 24, anger the North Korean regime, which says it views them as a prelude to an invasion. Last year, Pyongyang's threatening rhetoric reached alarming levels during the exercises, heightening tensions in the region.

South Korea and the United States have rejected the North's calls for this year's joint drills to be called off.

In September, North Korea canceled a previous round of family reunions with only a few days notice, accusing Seoul of souring ties between the two countries.

READ: North Korea threatens to pull out of family reunions

READ: North Korea says it wants 'atmosphere of reconciliation and unity'

READ: Kenneth Bae worried about his health in North Korean camp

CNN's K.J. Kwon reported from Seoul, and Jethro Mullen reported and wrote from Hong Kong.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 6:25 PM EDT, Wed July 2, 2014
As diplomats discuss a string of unsolved kidnappings of Japanese citizens by North Korea, the families of those abducted anxiously wait and hope.
updated 7:57 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
updated 11:13 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea says it plans to prosecute two American tourists that it detained earlier this year, accusing them of "perpetrating hostile acts."
updated 7:38 PM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
North Korea proposed that "all hostile military activities" with South Korea be halted, but it attached conditions that Seoul is likely to reject.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
North Korean state news is reporting the country test-launched "cutting-edge ultra precision tactical guided missiles."
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
James Franco won't be following Dennis Rodman into North Korea anytime soon.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Don't you hate it when the weatherman gets it wrong? Apparently, so does Kim Jong Un.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Thu June 5, 2014
New signs show Russia and North Korea are developing a closer relationship.
updated 8:12 PM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Photographer Eric Lafforgue visited North Korea and shares his inside look at the most isolated country in the world.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon May 12, 2014
Many North Koreans listen to illegal broadcasts on homemade radios, some are convinced to defect.
updated 3:26 PM EDT, Thu May 8, 2014
Jang Jin-Sung, a North Korean defector and former regime insider, speaks with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
updated 10:06 AM EDT, Tue May 13, 2014
iReporter Kenny Zhu visited North Korea in April and was able to take video footage and photos with his Google Glass during the trip.
updated 2:42 PM EDT, Tue April 29, 2014
North Korea loves saber-rattling. Here's a look at all the firepower they have stockpiled.
updated 8:03 PM EDT, Wed April 23, 2014
CNN's Elise Labott reports on the new baby pictures of Kim Jong Un released by North Korean state media.
updated 7:27 AM EDT, Wed April 2, 2014
Experts warn that under Kim Jong Un's rule, Pyongyang has shown an even greater willingness to raise the stakes than before.
updated 9:14 AM EDT, Tue March 18, 2014
China and North Korea criticize a U.N. report that found crimes against humanity committed in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
updated 8:05 AM EDT, Mon March 17, 2014
Megumi Yokota was only 13 when she was abducted by a North Korean agent in the 1970s. What happened after that?
updated 12:30 AM EDT, Wed March 12, 2014
Report: North Korea uses multiple techniques to defy sanctions, and shows no signs of abandoning its nuclear missile programs.
ADVERTISEMENT