Two Koreas hold first talks since 2007

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The Independent Online

The rival Koreas have held their first top level talks in nearly two years.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, whose 18 months in office have seen a sharp deterioration in relations with Pyongyang, met a North Korean delegation bearing a message from Kim Jong-il. The 30-minute meeting was a new beginning but "it's too early to expect a thaw in inter-Korean relations", a senior presidential official told the Yonhap news agency. The meeting is the latest in a recent series of conciliatory gestures by the North, suggesting it is ready to re-engage with the outside world. But analysts note it has a history of unpredictable changes of tack in its diplomacy.