The Latest: Japan says it'll do what's needed on North Korea

SEOUL: The Latest on talks between the rival Koreas (all times local):



A Japanese government spokesman says after the two Koreas agreed to resume long-stalled talks that Japan will do what's necessary to keep up pressure on North Korea to give up its weapons programs.

Spokesman Yoshihide Suga stressed that Japan was in close contact with the US and South Korea on the latest developments after the Koreas agreed to hold talks next Tuesday.

He told reporters Friday that Japan will "take all steps necessary," including cooperating with China and Russia, to step up pressure on North Korea so it will give up its nuclear weapons and missile development policies.

Seoul's Unification Ministry said earlier North Korea accepted Seoul's offer to hold talks on how to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics and how to improve overall ties.


11:30 a.m.

A Seoul official says both Koreas have agreed to hold their first talks in more than two years next Tuesday.

Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun said Friday that North Korea has accepted Seoul's offer to meet at the border village of Panmunjom that day to discuss how to cooperate on next month's Winter Olympics and how to improve overall ties.

The announcement came hours after the United States said it has agreed to delay joint military exercises with South Korea until after the Winter Olympics. The Games are to be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.

The rival Koreas are seeking to improve their strained ties after a period of rising tension over the North's push to expand its nuclear and missile arsenals.