Two Koreas Discuss Reducing Military Tension

Two Koreas Discuss Reducing Military TensionTwo Koreas Discuss Reducing Military Tension

Rare general-level talks between the two Koreas ended with no agreement Tuesday, but the top delegates said they had a meaningful discussion on easing their countries' decades-long military standoff. Experts said it was still unclear whether the rivals can reach any breakthrough agreement on reducing tensions in the near future because South Korea, in close consultations with the United States, must link any expansion of ties to progress in North Korea's nuclear disarmament, AP reported.

Earlier Tuesday, North Korea's state media accused South Korea of being reluctant to take full-fledged steps toward reconciliation because it is "reading another's face," an apparent reference to the United States.

"We hope that the South Korean authorities will come to their senses, though belatedly, and roll up their sleeves to improve inter-Korean relations," the North's Rodong Sinmun newspaper said in a commentary. Tuesday's meeting at the Koreas' shared border village of Panmunjom was the second such high-level military contact since the two countries' leaders held a landmark summit in April and pledged to reduce the danger of another war on the peninsula.

The chief South Korean delegate, Maj. Gen. Kim Do Gyun, said the Koreas had a common view in principle on disarming a jointly controlled area at Panmunjom, removing some guard posts from the Demilitarized Zone that bisects the countries, halting hostile acts along their disputed sea boundary, and conducting joint searches for soldiers missing from the 1950-53 Korean War in DMZ areas. He said the Koreas will continue talks on details of the issues, according to Seoul's Defense Ministry.


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