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The Significance of Upcoming Face-to-Face Talks Between North and South Korea; The Dramatic Rise of Dow Jones Industrial Average

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CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: Welcome back to CNN 10. If you're just getting started with us after the holiday break, happy New Year. I'm Carl Azuz.

Always glad to have you watching.

An event is taking place tomorrow, near the border between North and South Korea that hasn't happened in more than two years. High level representatives from the North will meet face to face with high level representatives from the South. After a phone call heard around the world last week, when an official from the North spoke to an official from the South, the line of communication open back up. South Korea suggested that

North Korea hold talks in person and the North accepted.

And according to the South Korea Unification Ministry, a group that works toward diplomacy with its northern neighbor, the topics will include,

quote, issues related to improving inter-Korean relationships, including the Pyeongchang Olympic Games.

North and South Korea used to be one country. But today, most experts on the region say reunification is not likely, mostly because the two nations'

governments are so different from another. Would the communist government of North Korea be willing to give up its autocratic control and be absorbed by the South, or would voters in the democratic country of South Korea choose to be rule by the northern government? Those answers are almost certainly no.

But the fact that the two sides are talking, in a setting that's unlike anywhere else in the world is considered a breakthrough.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Korean Demilitarized Zone, a place where two worlds collide, dictatorship and democracy staring each other down.

CHAD O'CARROLL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, KOREA RISK GROUP: It's a very, very vivid reminder just what's at stake on the peninsula.

RIPLEY: The first official talks in two years between North and South Korea will be held in Panmunjom, the so-called Truce Village, straddling the 38th Parallel, the tense dividing line between two neighbors still technically at war.

Delegations from both sides of the DMZ will be sitting a stone's throw away from the path a North Korean took in November, in a dramatic defection,

shot five times, running South.

The talks will take place in Peace House, one of three buildings in the Truce Village, built specifically for discussion like this, two in the

South, one in the North.

O'CARROLL: Sometimes the two couriers have disagreements over which side the talks should be on.

RIPLEY: This time, they're on the South side. North Korean officials will likely pass through the same blue huts I first visited in 2015, the year the last round of marathon talks took place, lasting some 44 hours, nearly two days.

To understand the DMZ, we need to go back to the end of World War II, the Soviets and Americans divided Korea just like they did Germany, most historians say the communists North tried to get it all by invading the South. The North says it was the other way around.

Technically, the war never ended. An armistice agreement put both Koreas back on their side of the dividing line, a standoff nearly 65 years and counting.

Today, North Korea is facing its toughest sanctions ever, over Leader Kim Jong-un's rapidly advancing nuclear program.

O'CARROLL: For the North Koreans, the motivation to take part in these talks is undoubtedly due to the pressure that is building on the country.

RIPLEY: Pressure that only stands to increase in 2018, unless both sides find a diplomatic path, a path that begins there in Panmunjom, a painful reminder of the region's violent past, tense present, and uncertain future.

Will Ripley, CNN, Seoul.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

What is the only company in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that was one of its original stocks in 1896?

General Electric, Travelers, J.P. Morgan Chase, or Coca-Cola?

When the Dow was created in 1896, it included 12 industrial stocks, including General Electric.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

AZUZ: Including General Electric, there are now 30 stocks listed in the Dow. They're called Blue Chips, stocks from companies that are financially strong and considered good investments. The Dow Jones average is one indication how the U.S. economy is doing and it hit a milestone last week.

It passed 25,000 points.

But it's not just the Dow's new high mark that made news. It's the speed at which the index reached the record. For the Dow to go from 5,000 points to 10,000, which it did back in the 1990s, it took more than three years. The index just jumped from 20,000 points from 25,000 in less than 12

months. Analysts say this is because the U.S. economy is growing faster and that companies profits are high.

Some economists say it's possible for the economy to overheat, to grow too fast and cause inflation, when prices rise and people aren't able to buy as much. That could trigger a series of actions that could reverse economic growth.

Others say there's still plenty of room for the economy to grow without overheating. And if it does that, it's anyone's guess how high the Dow can

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN CHIEF BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: The most impressive milestone yet for the Dow Jones Industrial Average: 25,000. It's a psychological mark but shows the explosive growth in stocks over the past year.

The blue chips first hit 20,000 on January 6th, 2017. By March, the Dow nailed 21,000. In early August, 22,000. In October, 23,000. Just 30

trading days after that mark, 24,000.

Two key developments driving this 8-year-old bull market ever higher:

First, President Trump's big push on tax reform. Investors cheered as Congress delivered a bill to the president's desk before Christmas.

Corporations are a big winner and Wall Street is betting companies will use their new spare cash to buy back stock and beef up their dividends.

Second, corporate profits. Companies are making money and investors are optimistic about the future, so optimistic it seems nothing can stop this rally, not a growing nuclear threat from North Korea, not the Russia investigation, not a series of interest rate hikes.

Dow 25,000 is here. The question now, can Dow 30,000 be far behind?

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: It's been said every dog has his day. I'm hoping today is that day for my Georgia Bulldogs, but Blakely is the name of a rescued Australian shepherd who had his own day named after him by the city of Cincinnati, Ohio. Why?

Because Blakely who works at the Cincinnati Zoo has served and succeeded as a nanny for a number of animals who are a far cry from his own species.

It's today's "10 Out of 10" and the "Great Big Story".

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

DAWN STRASSER, HEAD NURSERY KEEPER: Blakely has the most difficult job in Cincinnati Zoo. He has to play with babies all the time.

He's never shown any aggression or snapped. If he gets upset, kind of like any mom would, he just leaves the room.

SUBTITLE: A mom for zoo orphans.

STRASSER: My name is Dawn Strasser and we're at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens. Blakely is a 5-year-old Australian shepherd we got him from a rescue and I use him in a nursery as a nanny or a companion dog. This is about you and you're taking a nap.

Blakeley's here for the main purpose of teaching the babies the correct animal cues as they grow up, so when they are introduced back to their own kind, they know what appropriate behavior is. He teaches them how to play, how to interact.

I can tell them "no, don't bite me", but I'm not an animal and I don't give the same cues that he can. So, we make a great team.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Smile for the camera.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: For a camera.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, smile for the camera.

STRASSER: Blakely has worked with cheetahs, ocelots, a takin, feathered foxes, a warthog, wallabies to name a few.

He's working with four baby cheetahs right now. It's been a long seven weeks for him with these little cheetah cubs and he's I think tired as he's on alert for 24 hours a day. If they start making too much noise, he'll come and get us like something's not right, something's not right. He's kind of like a second set of eyes for us too.

A lot of times, they still recognize each other like Dale the takin he raised. When they see each other, Dale still run up in front and grunt at him and he'll kind of jump up on the wall and kind of like, hey, how you doing?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you.

STRASSER: Yes, well, I like to think I have an office but I'm pretty sure it's his.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

AZUZ: Well, he is a shepherd and he's helped on ocelot of others, without trying to cheetah or outfox anyone by warthogging too much time talking too much or acting like some kangaroo wallaby. He's living a dog's life by being a best friend to everyone.

I'm Carl Azuz for CNN 10.

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