A unification flag hangs on a military fence near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas in Paju, South Korea January 15, 2018.
But despite the rapprochement, global sanctions against the North for its nuclear and missile programs have kept economic cooperation between the two Koreas from taking off, while little progress has been made on the key issue of Pyongyang's denuclearization.
The agreement between the two countries' unification ministers comes amid an ongoing nuclear stand-off between Washington and Pyongyang.
Cho said he will listen to the North's views and firmly explain Seoul's position.
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In opening remarks, the head of the North Korean delegation set a positive tone for the day's meeting, comparing the current state of inter-Korean relations to very close friends where nothing can stand between the two.
Last week, Seoul's customs office announced that three South Korean firms imported North Korean coal and pig iron from Russian Federation on seven occasions between April and October previous year in an apparent violation of the United Nations sanctions resolution.
Moon will have a tricky balancing act at the summit: Maintaining momentum for inter-Korean dialogue while also nudging Kim to make progress on denuclearization with the U.S., an ally of South Korea.
North Korea will be commemorating the 70th anniversary of its founding as a communist state, and it has been trying to invite foreign dignitaries to the country for the occasion.
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Senior diplomatic sources told CNN last week that Pyongyang has continually rejected Washington's proposals on denuclearization, calling them "gangster-like". Both parties spoke about North Korea's nuclear disarmament efforts and worldwide sanctions, but provided few other details on the meeting.
But even as ties have improved, little progress has been made on the key issue of the North's denuclearisation.
North Korea's decision to return Suh last week marked the first such move since it repatriated a 40-year-old South Korean citizen in November 2011, after detaining him for 40 days.
"They are trying to send a message externally that the North-South dialogue momentum has been established and that it will be maintained regardless of the outcome of US-North Korea talks", said analyst Go.
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in their joint declaration then that Moon will visit the North this fall.