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Tuesday, 15 August, 2000, 12:29 GMT 13:29 UK
Summer months melt Korean ice
Two presidents shaking hands
The two leaders met in a historic summit in June
For half a century, North and South Korea lived like bitter divorcees from the Cold War.

A history of unity for 5,000 years and sharing a unique, common language were not enough to dispel deep distrust and hostility.

But in mid-June 2000, leaders of the two countries met in a historic summit in the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, where they pledged to increase co-operation.

Since then, the ice has continued to melt between the two sides:

  • 15 June: Following the summit, North Korea stops propaganda broadcasts against the South, where the media also adopts a warmer tone towards its northern neighbour.

  • 29 - 31 July: High-level officials from the two sides meet in Seoul to find practical ways to implement agreements made in the June summit, including improving economic and military ties.

  • 31 July: An agreement is made to reopen border liaison offices and resume cross-border rail links from Seoul to Pyongyang, and then to a city close to the Chinese border. South Koreans will not be able to enter the North, but hope to get a trade link via Russia's trans-Siberian railway.

  • Dawn over the border
    A new dawn is breaking in Korean relations
    5 - 12 August: About 48 senior journalists from South Korea visit the North to open up communication. The North had been virtually closed to foreign media.

  • 14 August: Reconciliation Week, which hopes to cement ties, begins with the reopening of border liaison offices at the truce village of Panmunjom, in the no-man's land between the heavily-fortified borders of the two countries. South Korea gives an amnesty to more than 3,500 prisoners.

  • 15 August: 100 North Koreans meet their relatives in the South in a highly-charged, emotional reunion. More than 70,000 South Koreans applied to take part in the reunion. The meeting will be followed by a group of 100 South Koreans visiting relatives in the North. Communist sympathisers who had been long-term prisoners in the South will also be preparing to head to North Korea soon.

  • 29 - 31 August: A new round of inter-ministerial level talks is to take place in Pyongyang to discuss peacekeeping efforts.
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See also:

14 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Koreas begin 'reconciliation week'
13 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
N Korea hails closer ties
05 Aug 00 | Asia-Pacific
Media chiefs seeking Korean thaw
31 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Koreas reach breakthrough deal
15 Jun 00 | Asia-Pacific
Korea reveals summit details
19 Jul 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: North Korea sets its price
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