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INTRO: The two Koreas have agreed to reopen border 
liaison offices and reconnect a major inter-Korean 
rail line.  The measures are part of a package drawn 
up during three days of high-level talks between a 
visiting North Korean delegation and their South 
Korean counterparts.  As Hyun-Sung Khang reports from 
Seoul, the two sides say in the future they will also 
hold regular high-level meetings as part of a new thaw 
in their Cold War hostilities.
TEXT:  The North and South Korean negotiators have 
announced an agreement, which includes a plan to 
reopen the liaison offices along the heavily-armed 
border, dividing the two Koreas.  The announcement was 
made by South Korea's Vice Minister for Culture and 
Tourism, Kim Soon-kyu.
            /// KIM ACT IN KOREAN, FADE UNDER ///
Mr. Kim says that on August 15th, the South and North 
shall resume the operations of the South-North Liaison 
offices at Panmunjom, which has been suspended since 
November 1996.
The reopening of the offices will allow the two sides 
to talk to each other more easily.  Also included in 
the agreement is a plan to reconnect a rail link 
running from the South Korean capital, through the 
North Korean capital, to Shinuiju, a major city on the 
North's border with China.  The rail line has been 
closed since the 1945 division of the Korean 
The agreement comes just weeks after June's first-ever 
inter-Korean summit between 
the leaders of the two countries in Pyongyang. 
In another sign of easing tensions, the two Koreas 
will also mark a "National Week of reconciliation" in 
mid-August to coincide with the anniversary of the 
liberation of Korea from Japanese rule in 1945.  
Planned events during that week include the reunion of 
a number 
of families separated for decades by the division of 
the Korean peninsula.
But there were also notable gaps in the final 
agreement.  No mention was made of a proposed visit to 
Seoul by the North Korean leader Kim Sung Il. But the 
chief North Korean delegate was quoted as saying his 
leader "always keeps a 
promise he makes."  Also absent was any mention of a 
military hotline, which South Korea wanted.  Seoul 
officials say such issues will be discussed 
at the next round of talks, scheduled for the end of 
31-Jul-2000 05:23 AM LOC (31-Jul-2000 0923 UTC)
Source: Voice of America

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