Two Koreas to hold military talks

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Two Koreas to hold military talks

South and North Korea will hold their first military talks in nearly two years, Seoul's defense ministry said yesterday, amid ongoing tension over the sinking of a South Korean warship blamed on the North.

North Korea agreed to hold the working-level military meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom at the inter-Korean border.

“The talks will be held at 10 a.m. today and issues raised by both sides will be discussed,” said a defense ministry official on customary condition of anonymity.

North Korea had proposed holding the talks Sept. 15, saying it wanted to discuss border disputes, including measures to prevent naval conflicts along the tense Yellow Sea border and South Korean activists sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

In response to the North's proposal, South Korea suggested holding the talks today and said it would discuss the North's responsibility for sinking the Cheonan warship and easing tensions along the sea border.

South Korean military officials have remained wary of what they say is the North Korean tactic of following provocative action with proposed talks to win concessions.

Inter-Korean relations plunged to their lowest point in years after a multinational investigation led by South Korea's military concluded in May that North Korea was responsible for the attack on March 26. The North has denied the charge.

But in recent weeks, North Korea has made some peace overtures toward Seoul, freeing a seized South Korean fishing boat and offering to hold reunions of families separated across the border since the 1950-53 Korean War.

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