Seoul (dpa) – Negotiators of South and North Korea resumed talks
Sunday afternoon for a face-saving way of easing tensions after an
exchange of artillery and mutual threats of war.

The meetings began Saturday and went long past midnight in the truce
village of Panmunjom.

South Korean National Security Adviser Kim Kwan Jin and defence
officials met with Kim Yang Gon, a senior member of North Korea’s
ruling party, and the Korean People’s Army chief of staff Vice
Marshal Hwang Pyong So.

Hwang is considered a close confidante of the country’s leader, Kim
Jong Un.

The talks were also joined by South Korean Unification Minister Hong
Yong-pyo and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yang-gon.

South Korea resumed the use of loudspeakers to broadcast propaganda
across the border last week, in retaliation for a land mine laid by
North Korean forces that blew the legs off two South Korean troops.

The tension escalated with an exchange of dozens of artillery shells
across the border on Thursday.

North Korea intensified its threats of war Saturday, calling the
situation “hardly controllable.”

“Our military and people are prepared to risk their lives in an
all-out war, to defend the system our people choose,” the Foreign
Ministry said on the official Korean Central News Agency, before the
Panmunjom talks.