Panmunjom, the village on the border between South and North Korea, will be the setting for talks between North Korea and the US-led UN Command to discuss the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.
North Korea has threatened more punishment for an American prisoner who illegally entered the country.
Angered by charges that it torpedoed the Cheonan Navy ship, North Korea appears ready to shut down the Kaesong Economic Complex, the last point of contact between the two Koreas. Kaesong hosts some 100 South Korean factories and more than 40,000 North Korean workers.
A third nuclear test and naval confrontations in the Yellow Sea are likely, say analysts, in response to South Korean President Lee Myung-bak's announcement Monday of retaliatory measures against North Korea for torpedoing the navy ship Cheonan.
South Korea’s President Lee Myung-bak pledged Monday to determine the cause of the Cheonan Navy ship sinking, amid concern that North Korea was involved. International investigators have begun inspecting the stern, which was raised last week.
The South Korea raised the sunken warship Cheonan Thursday. Across South Korea, the view is growing that North Korea is responsible for a blast that killed 46 sailors.
Details are emerging about Aijalon Mahli Gomes, the American who will face trial in North Korea after having crossed into the country 'illegally.' From Boston, he had been teaching English in South Korea.
On Kim Jong-il's birthday, the North Korean leader's attention appeared focused on grooming his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, for succession. The senior Kim did not attend his birthday bash.
UN undersecretary-general Lynn Pascoe said today that North Korea is 'not eager to return to six-party talks,' but others say Kim Jong-il appears ready for renewed dialogue.
North Korea has said it will release US missionary Robert Park, who crossed into North Korea on Christmas Eve bearing a message of 'peace and goodwill' for Kim Jong-il. North Korean officials said the young American had retracted his views of the North as a repressive place.