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Koreas hold first talks since purge

AFP-JIJI

The two Koreas on Thursday held their first meeting since the shock execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, resuming talks about a joint industrial park as concerns rise over instability in Pyongyang.

The last round of such talks took place in September, when the Kaesong industrial zone, just over the border in North Korea, reopened after military tensions caused a five-month closure.

Later Thursday, a foreign delegation including Group of 20 ministers was also due to tour the Kaesong park as South Korea solicits outside investors, hoping their involvement would prevent North Korea shuttering the facility in future.

Another foreign visitor headed to North Korea on Thursday: U.S. basketball star Dennis Rodman, who has struck up an unlikely friendship with Kim and plans to train a North Korean basketball team for an exhibition game between the North Koreans and a team of mainly ex-NBA players on Jan. 8, to mark Kim’s birthday.