Friday, January 21, 2011

Seoul agrees to Korean military talks

South Korea says it has agreed with North's proposal for military talks between high-ranking government officials from both countries.

The decision came after Pyongyang proposed holding high-level military negotiations with Seoul to discuss the sinking of South Korean navy corvette Cheonan and an artillery attack on the Yeonpyeong Island, Yonhap news agency reported on Thursday.

"The South Korean government will attend the talks to call on North to accept responsibility for torpedoing Cheonan warship and shelling the Yeonpyeong. It will also urge the North to promise it will not perpetrate any military provocation in the future," Yonhap quoted an unnamed Unification Ministry official as saying on Thursday.

Both North and South have also agreed to hold lower-level preparatory talks. Seoul says it will discuss the issue of nuclear disarmament during the meetings.

"As the North has failed to address the denuclearization issue in its proposal, the [South Korean] government will take up the matter during the talks to check that North is genuine in its intentions," the South Korean official said.

Two South Korean marines and two construction workers were killed on November 23, 2010, after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto the Yeonpyeong Island.


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