North and South Korean officials meet in anticipation of historic talks in April

North and South Korean officials meet in anticipation of historic talks in April

These talk will be a prelude for two sets of historic talks expected over the coming months.

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Photo: Reuters

Amid a thawing of tensions on the Korean peninsula, ministers from both sides will hold high-level talks today—a prelude for two sets of historic talks expected over the coming months.

The first, set to take place in April, will be the first between the leaders of the two Koreas. The second comes weeks later, when Donald Trump says he will meet Kim Jong-un; that would mark first meeting of a sitting US president with a member of the Kim family.

On Wednesday, the North Korean leader made his first known visit to a foreign country: China—likely to meet with his country’s traditional ally ahead of the talks with Western leaders to come.

Expect today’s inter-Korean talks to directly pave the way towards Mr Moon’s visit, which will seek above all else the establishment of regular diplomatic relations between the two Koreas. Watch out for the impact of White House shake-ups in today’s talks. With the ouster of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the ascension of the hawkish John Bolton to National Security Advisor, DPRK representatives are very likely to question to what extent the ROK government is indeed tied to the policies of its ally.

Delve deeper: Warming the ice: North Korea at the Winter Olympics

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