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Koreas on Alert as Talks Enter 2nd Day
International

Koreas on Alert as Talks Enter 2nd Day

Top aides to the leaders of North and South Korea resumed talks on Sunday after negotiating through the night in a bid to ease tensions involving an exchange of artillery fire that brought the peninsula to the brink of armed conflict.
The meeting at the Panmunjom truce village inside the Demilitarised Zone began on Saturday evening shortly after North Korea’s deadline for Seoul to halt anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts or face military action. It broke up before dawn on Sunday, Reuters reported.
Even as the talks restarted, the rivals were on high military alert, with the North deploying twice the usual artillery strength at the border and a majority of its submarine fleet, more than 50 vessels, away from bases, the South’s defense ministry said.
South Korea, whose military was also on higher alert, said it had no plans to halt the propaganda broadcasts that triggered the latest standoff.
The negotiations were interrupted with breaks for both sides to consult with their respective governments, and for snacks, the South’s Yonhap News Agency reported.
“North Korea wants to stop broadcasts, while South Korea can’t do it without achieving anything back,” Jeon said.
Sunday’s talks were open-ended, with the South’s Blue House expected to announce the results after they conclude.
The current tensions began early this month when two South Korean soldiers were wounded by landmines along the border. The North denies laying the mines.
Days later, Seoul began its propaganda broadcasts in random three-hour bursts from 11 banks of loudspeakers, resuming a tactic both sides halted in 2004.

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