중앙데일리

Military talks break off after 2 hours of rancor

Oct 02,2006

Officers from South and North Korea walking into a conference room yesterday at Panmunjeom, the truce village on the inter-Korean border, for working-level military talks. [YONHAP]

Military officers from South and North Korea met briefly on Monday for the first time since the communist country conducted missile tests in July, but they failed to find a way to put stalled inter-Korean relations back on track, South Korean officials said.
“No agreement was made today. But both sides will review the demands from the other,” said Army Colonel Moon Sung-mook, chief of the three-member South Korean delegation to the talks. Colonel Moon briefed Unification Ministry officials on the outcome of the talks before holding a press briefing at the Defense Ministry.
During the two-hour talks at Tongilgak, the North Korean administrative building inside the truce village of Panmunjeom on the inter-Korean border, Pak Ki-yong, the North’s chief delegate, demanded a halt to anti-communist propaganda activities by conservative South Korean civic and religious groups, Colonel Moon said.
Colonel Pak argued that the activities violated an inter-Korean military agreement made in 2004 under which they agreed to stop issuing propaganda via publications, broadcasting or leaflets along the demilitarized zone.
“I pointed out that they should understand the diversity of South Korean society,” the South Korean colonel told reporters. He said the meeting failed to set a date for a new round of senior military officers’ talks.
Earlier this year, civic groups delivered anti-communist messages via balloons across the border, denouncing the North’s communist regime and its leader Kim Jong-il. Colonel Pak claimed the groups conducted the same activities near the border on Sunday, according to Colonel Moon.
“They asked us to ban South Korean tourists and officials from making provocative acts at the Mount Kumgang resort, including carrying cell phones, books, newspapers, magazines and GPS equipment there,” he continued.
The colonel said he pressed for the resumption of inter-Korean defense chiefs’ talks as well as Pyongyang’s guarantee of the safe operation of cross-border railroads.
On July 7, South Korea rejected North Korea’s proposal for military meetings after the North test fired seven missiles two days earlier.


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