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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Koreas Will Resume 2-Way Talks

SEOUL, South Korea -- The two Koreas agreed to resume stalled high-level talks later this month, officials said Thursday, in the first concrete sign of easing tensions on the divided peninsula after the North signed a breakthrough disarmament agreement.

The Cabinet-level talks -- the highest dialogue channel between the two Koreas -- will be held in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, from Feb. 27 through March 2, according to a joint statement issued at a lower-level meeting in the North Korean city of Kaesong.

North and South Korea have held 19 high-level meetings since 2000, but they have been suspended for seven months amid chilled relations following North Korea's missile launches in July and nuclear test in October.

The two sides "affirmed each other's will to continue developing South-North relations," the statement said.

In the first phase of the disarmament deal reached in Beijing on Tuesday, North Korea would shut down its main nuclear reactor and allow United Nations inspectors to return within 60 days.

In return, it would receive aid equal to 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil from the other countries participating in the six-party talks -- the United States, South Korea, Russia, China and Japan.

North Korea, meanwhile, showed no sign of easing its anti-U.S. rhetoric, with its No. 2 leader ordering all soldiers and citizens to maintain a war mobilization to counter the threat of a U.S. attack.