(From AFP)

South Korea accepted North Korea’s proposal for a working-level meeting to pave way for high-level talks with South Korea, Yonhap reports.

The North suggested on Thursday that the meeting be held in its zone in the Panmunjeom truce village on Nov. 26.

The talks come amid diplomatic shifts in the Northeast Asia region that have left North Korea looking more isolated than ever, with Seoul moving closer to Pyongyang’s main diplomatic and economic ally China, and improving strained relations with Tokyo.

Earlier this month, the leaders of South Korea, China and Japan held their first summit for more than three years in Seoul.

Although the focus was on trade and other economic issues, the three declared their “firm opposition” to the development of nuclear weapons on the North Korean peninsula.

North Korea is already under a raft of UN sanctions imposed after its three nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013.

It has also come under increasing pressure on the human rights front, following a report published last year by a UN commission that concluded North Korea was committing human rights violations “without parallel in the contemporary world”.

A UN General Assembly committee on Thursday condemned those “gross” violations in North Korea, in a resolution adopted by a record majority.

The resolution, which will go to the full General Assembly for a vote next month, encourages the Security Council to consider referring Pyongyang to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

Such a move would likely be blocked by China, which has veto power in the council.

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