Korea has been divided since the end of World War II, split into Russian and American spheres of influence. The Korean War of the early 1950s only helped to cement the status quo. DW visited the border region and spoke to villagers there.
Pyongyang is demanding the return of defectors to the South, where there is concern that the government could accede to that demand in order to get discussions on nuclear weapons and security issues back on track.
A major in the North Korean military and a civilian have been found in the Yellow Sea while trying to defect to South Korea. It is the first time in a decade a North Korean military officer has defected to the South.
North Korea has altered its time zone to that of South Korea, as a step towards unity. The presence of two clocks at previous talks between North and South had apparently made Kim Jong Un feel sad.
The White House has described their release as a "positive gesture of good will." Analysts believe North Korea is trying to shore up support for sanctions relief as it shifts from its "weapons phase" to development.
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