Koreas holding military-level talks

Koreas holding military-level talks

2Seoul, Oct 15 (IANS) Military officials of South Korea and North Korea Wednesday held talks at the village of Panmunjom, media reported.

Military officials from the two Koreas started a dialogue from 10 a.m. in Panmunjom, Xinhua reported citing broadcaster YTN.

Earlier Wednesday, Yonhap news agency reported citing unidentified government sources that the two Koreas “are preparing for military talks to the effect of easing military tensions”, noting that South Korea and North Korea were in consultations to hold the dialogue soon.

Seoul’s unification ministry said by phone that it could neither confirm nor deny the report.

The report came after the two Koreas exchanged fire last week. On Oct 10, North Korea opened machine gun fire at balloons carrying anti-North Korea leaflets floated by a South Korean civilian organisation, mainly made up of “defectors” from the north. After some of the bullets fell south of the border, the two Koreas fired at each other.

On Oct 7, naval ships of the two Koreas exchanged fire near the disputed western sea border after a patrol ship of North Korea violated the Northern Limit Line (NLL).

Another source was quoted as saying that the notice Pyongyang sent to Seoul right after the Oct 7 incident served as the momentum to hold the inter-Korean military talks.

On the agenda would be how to ease tensions near the NLL and the issue on the scattering of anti-North Korea leaflets, which Pyongyang has urged Seoul to stop.

The last working-level military dialogue between the two Koreas was held in February 2011 and general-level talks were last held in December 2007.

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