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U.N. chief hails inter-Korean talks on Olympics, tensions

All News 05:01 January 10, 2018

WASHINGTON, Jan. 9 (Yonhap) -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday welcomed the high-level talks between South and North Korea that led to the North's agreement to participate in the Winter Olympics and discuss ways to ease military tensions.

The Koreas announced the deal after holding their first high-level dialogue in more than two years at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

Guterres "welcomes the progress made during the high-level inter-Korean talks on 9 January, particularly the agreement to work to ease military tensions, hold military-to-military talks, and reopen the inter-Korean military hotline," his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, said in a statement.

"The re-establishment and strengthening of such channels is critical to lowering the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and to reduce tensions in the region," he said.

The U.N. chief also hailed North Korea's decision to send a delegation, including athletes, to the Feb. 9-25 Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

"As the United Nations General Assembly has recognized, the holding of the Olympic Games can foster an atmosphere of peace, tolerance and understanding among nations," Guterres said. "This is particularly relevant on the Korean Peninsula and beyond."

Acknowledging "other efforts" that have helped lower tensions, he voiced hope that "such engagement and efforts will contribute to the resumption of sincere dialogue leading to sustainable peace and denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula."


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