Peace talks fruitful as 'regretful' North Korea backs down
Published 25/08/2015 | 02:30
North Korea has promised to cause no further provocation to South Korea and expressed "regret" for its actions in a last-minute climbdown which is hoped will prevent open warfare on the peninsula.
The two Koreas had been locked in tense negotiations in an abandoned village on the peninsula’s border after regime leader Kim Jong-Un declared a “quasi state of war” on Friday.
But at 2am local time it was revealed the crisis talks had ended with both sides agreeing on a truce.
For its part, South Korea promised it would cease blaring out anti-Pyongyang propaganda from loudspeakers at noon today.
The loudspeakers are said to have triggered this week’s violent tensions on the peninsula and led to an exchange of artillery fire.
North Korea added that it would lift its “quasi war status” and both sides are said to have agreed on working to reunite families separated in the Korean war.
The regime also apologised for a landmine blast which maimed two South Korean soldiers, a gesture which Seoul has welcomed as “very meaningful.”
It comes as North Korea previously announced it had deployed an “invasion force” of 10 hovercraft to the Yellow Sea as tense crisis talks with South Korea entered their fourth day.
The hovercraft are designed to launch special invasion forces ashore on South Korean beaches.
Its hovercraft move emerged as the US Army sent a B-52 Stratofortress “bunker-buster” warplane to the North Korean border amid escalating violence between the regime and its southern counterpart.
It also planned to dispatch a nuclear submarine, currently based at its Yokosuka naval base in Japan, to waters off the Korean peninsula.
The display of force was hoped to act as a deterrent to Mr Kim, whose state broadcasters have threatened to turn South Korea into a “sea of fire” and accused its leaders of being “puppet war maniacs”.
According to military officials in Seoul, the North Korean hovercraft were seen leaving their home port at Cholsan and moving to an advanced base 65km north of the Northern Limit Line, the disputed border off the west coast of the peninsula.