The Republic of Korea (RoK) on Feb. 9 accepted “in principle” a proposal by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to hold Red Cross talks on humanitarian issues.

A spokesperson for the RoK’s Unification Ministry Lee Jong-ju, said the RoK’s Red Cross had sent a message to its DPRK counterpart, asking to agree to bilateral negotiations and suggested discussing details of the talks after the two sides conclude their military talks in the truce village of Panmunjeom .

Lee Jong-ju said that the RoK government is aware of the importance and urgent need to address humanitarian issues, including reuniting families separated by the 1950-53 Korean war.

However, both sides will have to agree on procedural matters and other details before the talks can take place, he said.

Earlier, the DPRK had proposed that both should hold Red Cross talks on humanitarian issues on January 10 and February 1.

This move indicates that tensions have eased between the two Koreas after the exchange of artillery fire in Yeonpyeong island last November.

Both countries ended the two-day military talks at an intermediate level in Panmunjom village on February 9 without progress./.