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S.Korea, DPRK begins first military talks after 10 years

According to the South Korean Defence Ministry, the meeting kicked off on the northern side of the truce village of Panmunjom at 10 a.m.  

Edited by: India TV News Desk, Seoul [ Published on: June 14, 2018 11:03 IST ]
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, shakes hands with
Image Source : \FILE PHOTO/

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, shakes hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in

North and South Korea began their first high-level military talks in more than 10 years on Thursday to discuss ways to ease cross-border tensions.

According to the South Korean Defence Ministry, the meeting kicked off on the northern side of the truce village of Panmunjom at 10 a.m. They were the first such talks since the two sides met in December 2007.

South Korea's five-member delegation is led by Major General Kim Do-gyun while the North's Korean delegation is led by Lieutenant General An Ik-san, who is accompanied by four officials.

"(We) plan to discuss such issues as easing military tensions between the two Koreas and arranging a defence ministerial meeting as part of efforts to implement what was agreed upon in the military sector under the Panmunjom Declaration," Kim had told reporters before leaving for the talks.

The Panmunjom Declaration refers to the April 27 inter-Korean summit agreement, which included the two sides' commitment to ease military tensions and "practically eliminate the danger of war".

The general-grade talks are expected to focus on discussing the restoration of a cross-border military communication line, holding military talks on a regular basis and establishing a hotline between their military leaders.

The two sides could also discuss on the collection of the remains of fallen soldiers in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides North and South. South Korean President Moon Jae-in recently promised to push for this amid improving ties with North Korea.

During Tuesday's summit in Singapore, US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had agreed to cooperate on recovering the remains of American soldiers killed or who went missing during the Korean War.

The military talks initially slated for May but were postponed when Pyongyang abruptly cancelled the bilateral talks in protest at the annual South Korea-US air force drills.

(with IANS inputs)

 

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