South Korea reached out to North Korea on Monday, proposing high-level talks next Tuesday at the border village of Panmunjom.
If held, it would be the second high-level meeting between the two Koreas since President Park Geun-hye took office.
Up for discussion would be the possible resumption of reunions for families separated by the Korean War as well as other issues of mutual interest.
The proposal for talks came on the same day South Korea decided to provide more than 13 million U.S. dollars in aid to North Korea through the World Food Program and World Health Organization.
The unification ministry said it will use the Inter-Korean Cooperation Fund to offer 7 million dollars worth of nutritional assistance to mothers and children in the North via the WFP and 6.3 million dollars in medical aid through the WHO.
Experts say South Korea is accelerating efforts to improve inter-Korean relations ahead of President Park Geun-hye's Liberation Day speech on Friday, where she is expected to introduce further measures to better ties.
The latest developments, coupled with Pope Francis' message of peace and reconciliation during his visit to South Korea this week, are fueling fresh hopes for a change in tone on the Korean peninsula.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.