Senior South Korean officials are heading to the Demilitarised Zone for rare talks with their North Korean counterparts.
The officials departed Seoul early on Tuesday for the border.
The agenda includes co-operation at next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea and improving long-strained ties.
The rivals' first formal meeting in about two years comes after months of tension over North Korea's expanding nuclear and missile programmes.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said in his New Year's Day address that he was willing to send a delegation to the Olympics.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed Mr Kim's overture and proposed talks.
Critics say Mr Kim may be trying to divide Seoul and Washington in a bid to weaken international pressure and sanctions over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile tests.