(SEOUL, South Korea) -- Seoul didn't hesitate for a moment when Pyongyang unexpectedly held out an olive branch Thursday.
This remarkable turn of events after months of growing tensions has surprised many. Now, South Korea and the U.S. want to see if North Korea is really intent on working toward a peaceful solution to longstanding animosities.
After South Korea had repeatedly demanded talks on two joint economic projects that Pyongyang shut down, North Korea suddenly accepted the offer that the government said would expand to humanitarian programs.
The talks, which would mark the first serious negotiations between the two governments in years, are tentatively scheduled for next Thursday in Seoul.
Since last December, when it conducted a missile test, North Korea has acted provocatively, spurning all calls by major powers to end its illicit nuclear program. Leader Kim Jong-un threatened war if any attempt was made to attack his nation while voiding the armistice that has been effect with the South for the past 60 years.
This turnabout might have a lot to do with President Obama meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in California on Friday since Kim is concerned that if the two nations grow closer, Beijing might put even more pressure on North Korea to scuttle its nuclear arsenal.
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