South Korea Agrees to Talks With North
Meetings intended to lower military tensions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2011 6:44 AM CST
In this Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2010 image made available Wednesday Dec. 22, 2010, South Korean Army soldiers patrol near the seaside in Dangjin, South Korea, Dec. 22, 2010.   (AP Photo/ Yang Hyun-suk, Yonhap)

(Newser) – South Korea has accepted a Northern Korean proposal for talks between the two nations' defense ministers, in an effort to ease tensions following the Yeonpyeong shelling. The North has offered to sit down several times this month, but until now Seoul has rejected its overtures, demanding an apology for the Yeonpyeong attack and the sinking of the Cheonan warship first, according to the BBC.

This latest overture came via telegram, and followed a call from President Obama and Hu Jintao for the sides to work things out. Meanwhile, the North’s state-run news agency has also called for renewed multilateral nuclear talks. “The US would be well-advised to re-examine its hostile policy towards the DPRK and make a U-turn towards dialogue and fence-mending," one TV report said.