North submits list for military talks with South

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North submits list for military talks with South

North Korea submitted a list of officials that will attend this week’s inter-Korean military talks, South Korea’s Defense Ministry said on Tuesday.

The five-member North Korean delegation will be led by Lt. Gen. An Ik-san, who was involved in a similar meeting in 2004.

North Korea sent its list via a communication channel at the border village of Panmunjom at around 9:20 a.m. on Tuesday, the ministry said.

It came a day after the South sent the roster for its own five-member delegation led by Maj. Gen. Kim Do-gyun, who handles inter-Korean affairs at the ministry.

He will be accompanied by four other officials from the Defense Ministry and Unification Ministry, which handles relations with the North.

The military talks are scheduled to be held on Thursday in Tongilgak, a North Korean-controlled building in Panmunjom, and fulfill an agreement made by the two Korean leaders during their summit on April 27 to alleviate military tension.

The two countries held their last general-level military talks in December 2007. They have not met since amid strained ties over the North’s missile tests and nuclear experimentation.

The talks, initially slated for May, were postponed when North Korea abruptly canceled high-level talks with the South in protest of its annual joint military drills with the United States.

In a meeting of high-level officials on June 1, the two Koreas agreed to hold military talks this week to ease tensions and arrange a meeting of their defense ministers.

The two sides expect to touch on less sensitive areas, such as fully recovering cross-border military communication lines, holding military talks on a regular basis and establishing a hotline between their military leaders.

They could also discuss recovery of the remains of fallen soldiers from the demilitarized zone that bisects the peninsula, an issue that South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently promised to push now that ties with North Korea are improving.

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