South and North Korea began high-level military talks at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss ways to ease cross-border tensions.

In the meeting being held on the northern side of the truce village of Panmunjeom, the two sides are likely to discuss follow-up measures to the April 27th inter-Korean summit declaration which calls for joint efforts to ease military tensions and eliminate the danger of war. 

The general-level talks are expected to discuss the complete restoration of military communication channels, the institutionalization of military talks and the creation of a hotline between top military leaders.  

The excavation of the remains of fallen soldiers in the Demilitarized Zone, which President Moon Jae-in mentioned in his Memorial Day speech last week, will also be raised as a possible agenda item. 

As U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed on the recovery and repatriation of the soldiers on the Korean Peninsula during their summit in Singapore, the two Koreas may also discuss launching a trilateral project regarding the repatriation of war dead.  

There is speculation that the North may use the inter-Korean military talks as a chance to call for the suspension of the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. based on Trump’s related remarks during the Singapore summit.  

The South sent a five-member delegation to the talks led by Army Major General Kim Do-gyun. The North’s five-member delegation is spearheaded by Army Lieutenant General Ahn Ik-san. 

The talks are the first of their kind to take place between the two Koreas since December 2007.

[Photo : YONHAP News]