SEOUL, July 4 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) have agreed to hold working-level talks on Saturday at the truce village of Panmunjeom to discuss the normalization of the suspended industrial zone at the border city of Kaesong, South Korea's unification ministry said Thursday.
As of 8:25 p.m. local time, the two Koreas agreed to hold such talks from 10 a.m. on Saturday at Panmunjeom, the Ministry of Unification said by phone.
Pyongyang accepted Seoul's dialogue offer made earlier in the day after some wrangling over the venues. South Korea proposed the talks to be held at Panmunjeom, but the DPRK made another counterproposal to meet at Kaesong. Then, Seoul made a counteroffer of holding the talks at inter-Korean transit offices.
Liaison officials from both sides planned to exchange the list of three-member delegates at Panmunjeom the next day.
Seoul's dialogue offer came just a day after Pyongyang allowed South Korean businessmen to visit the Kaesong industrial zone to help them maintain their factories.
The DPRK said that if South Korea notifies it of when the visit will take place, Pyongyang will take necessary steps related to cross-border passage and communications.
Some South Korean companies running factories at Kaesong asked the South Korean government Wednesday to help them relocate facilities back to Seoul or other foreign countries, saying that the prolonged standoff between Seoul and Pyongyang would damage their high-priced equipment vulnerable to humidity during the rainy season.
South Korea had held firm that inter-Korean issues can be addressed through dialogue between authorities, and the DPRK favored contacts with companies and private organizations.
The Unification Ministry said earlier that both sides can discuss issues such as how to normalize the Kaesong complex, how to ship finished goods and materials out of the complex and how to maintain and repair facilities and equipment.
Pyongyang shut down the industrial park in early April, pulling out its 53,000 workers. Seoul also withdrew its personnel after the DPRK rejected working-level talks.
The two sides sought to hold their first high-level official talks in six years in June, but the scheduled dialogue was called off abruptly due to dispute over the ranks of chief delegates.
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