Night Watch

South Korea-North Korea: South Korea and North Korea agreed on 10 June to hold high-level talks in Seoul on 12 and 13 June, according to an official in South Korea's Ministry of Unification. They reached agreement after 17 hours of working-level talks at Panmunjom.

The North Koreans broadcast a press release to domestic and international audiences.

"The North and the South held working-level contact between authorities of the North and South at P'anmunjo'm from 9 to 10 June 2013. "

"1. The talks between authorities of the North and South were agreed to be held in Seoul from 12 to 13 June."

"2. The talks were agreed to be named The Talks Between Authorities of the North and the South."

"3. It was agreed to discuss at the talks immediate and urgent matters concerning North-South relations, including the issue of normalizing the Kaeso'ng Industrial Zone, the issue of resuming Mt Ku'mgang tourism, the issue of reuniting separated families and their relatives and other humanitarian issues; the issue of jointly commemorating the announcement dates of the 15 June and the 4 July declarations; and the issue of working toward non-governmental visits, contacts, and cooperative projects."

"4. Each delegation to the talks was agreed to comprise five members, with the North side's delegation headed by a minister-level person in authority."

"5. It was agreed that the North side's delegation would travel via an overland route on the west coast."

"6. It was agreed that additional working issues would be discussed via a liaison channel in P'anmunjo'm."

Comment: The South Korean press release is substantially the same, but slightly less detailed as to the topics for discussion. These will be the first high level talks since 2007.

The North Koreans released the press summary in Korean and English. It is rare for North Korea to publicize to its domestic audience the results of negotiations. That suggests that the leadership wants the population to be prepared for South Koreans visiting the North and for the resumption of the joint projects suspended in late winter, especially the 123 plants at Kaesong.

Pakistan: In response to two US drone attacks since taking his oath of office last week, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif issued an official statement after his first cabinet meeting. "The policy of protesting against drone strikes for public consumption, while working behind the scenes to make them happen, is not on."

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