The tense standoff between North Korea and South Korea reached an end on Monday after reaching an agreement. South Korea announced the agreement Tuesday. Kim Kwan-jin, national security adviser to South Korean President Park Geun-hye, said North Korea expressed regret over its provocations and pledged to stop them. Specifically, Pyongyang said it regrets that two South Korean soldiers were injured in a land mine explosion this month.
Seoul agreed to halt anti-North Korean propaganda messages being broadcasted across the border. The deal comes after South Korean President Park warned that his country would continue the broadcasts and take other measures unless the communist country offered an apology and to not create any more provocations.
Both nations agreed to hold talks in the next few months in hopes of improving ties and reconnecting families separated by the unofficial ended Korean War. The talks were being held for three days in the border village of Panmunjom. North Kore confirmed an agreement was reached through its state-run Korean Central News Agency. North Korea fired shells over the DMZ on Thursday, apparently aimed at the loudspeakers blaring the messages, setting off a brief exchange of fire.
During this intense standoff, North Korea doubled its artillery forces on the front lines and 70% of their submarine forces left their bases. South Korean Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok said his country and the United States, which have held annual joint military exercises, would keep working together.
“Our position is that South Korea and the U.S. are currently continuously closely monitoring the crisis situation in the Korean Peninsula, and we are flexibly reviewing the timing of the U.S. strategic assets deployment,” he said. State Department spokesman John Kirby praised the agreement and said the U.S. supports President Park’s continued efforts to improve inter-Korean relations. North Korea had said it was mobilizing troops and threatened “all-out war” if South Korea did not halt the propaganda broadcasts.
About 28,500 American troops are based in South Korea, many of them close to the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two countries. North Korea and South Korea technically remain at war after the Korean War ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. The two neighbors have periodically clashed — sometimes with deadly consequences. American and South Korean diplomats with a long history of talking to the North doubted that Pyongyang would issue an apology