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  • N Korea proposes military talks with S Korea

    Published on September 16, 2010

    North Korea has proposed holding military talks with South Korea to discuss disputes, the South’s defence ministry said Thursday, in another apparent peace overture from Pyongyang.

    The North suggested the working-level talks in a communication Wednesday through a military line at the border truce village of Panmunjom, a ministry spokesman told AFP.

    The military talks would be the first in almost two years.

    The North wants to discuss the disputed Yellow Sea border and anti-Pyongyang propaganda leaflets floated into the North by South Korean activists, the spokesman said.

    The border was drawn unilaterally by UN forces at the end of the 1950-53 war but the North insists it should run further to the south. It was the scene of bloody naval clashes in 1999, 2002 and last November.

    In March a South Korean corvette, the Cheonan, sank near the border with the loss of 46 lives after what Seoul and Washington said was a North Korean torpedo attack.

    “Taking into consideration that North Korea has not admitted to or apologised for sinking the Cheonan, the government is reviewing the North’s proposal cautiously,” a defence ministry statement said.

    Yonhap news agency quoted government sources as saying the South was unlikely to accept the talks proposal considering the agenda.

    The South says the sea border has been in place for more than half a century.

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