North and South Korea Tuesday began their first talks since the North's deadly shelling of a border island in November, Seoul's Yonhap news agency reported.
The military talks began around 10 am (0100 GMT) at Panmunjom on the heavily fortified frontier, the agency quoted an unidentified official as saying.
The defence ministry could not immediately confirm that the talks, which are closed to the media, had begun as scheduled.
Tuesday's discussions were to focus mainly on preparations for high-level military talks at a date yet to be fixed.
But the South sees it as a chance to test the sincerity of its neighbour's peace overtures after months of heightened tensions.
Relations have been icy since the South in May accused the North of torpedoing a warship and killing 46 sailors, a charge it denies.
The November 23 bombardment of South Korea's Yeonpyeong island near the disputed Yellow Sea border, which killed two marines and two civilians, briefly sparked fears of war.
But in an abrupt change of tack this year, Pyongyang has launched a series of appeals for dialogue.
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