Inter-Korean General-level Military Talks Open
Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)
Pyongyang, March 2 (KCNA) -- The third north-south general-level military talks were opened at the Thongil House in the portion of the north side in Panmunjom Thursday. Attending the talks were the north side's delegation led by Lieut. General of the Korean People's Army Kim Yong Chol and the south side's delegation with Major General of the Defense Ministry Han Min Gu as its chief delegate. At the talks both sides placed on the agenda the issue of taking military measures to prevent clashes in the waters of the West Sea of Korea and ensure joint fishing there and discussed it.
Before making his keynote address, the head of the north side's delegation sternly took the south side to task for its unreasonable behavior of cooperating with the U.S. imperialists in their military moves against the DPRK quite contrary to the atmosphere of the military talks.
Citing the facts that this year, too, the south Korean authorities intend to stage all combined and joint military exercises including the RSOI and Foal Eagle with the United States as scheduled and, at the same time, decided to participate in the drills for "preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction" pursuant to the PSI taken by the U.S. imperialists and agreed on the "strategic flexibility" of the U.S. imperialist aggression forces in south Korea, he stated all this is an anti-national, anti-reunification act of going against the June 15 era of reunification in which the vigorous three-point patriotic movement is going on under the uplifted banner of "By our nation itself".
The head of the delegation of the north side in his keynote address said that in order to achieve success at the talks both sides should have a firm stand and posture that the military authorities of the north and the south will become a driving force for settling the issue of the waters of the West Sea and find the earliest possible final solution to it, guided by the spirit of "By our nation itself."
Holding that for a smooth discussion on the agenda item there should be groundwork for a fair consensus understandable to everyone, he laid down the following principles that can be served as such groundwork:
First, the issue of preventing clashes in the waters of the West Sea and realizing joint fishing there should be solved on the principle of promoting the co-prosperity and common interests of the nation.
Second, the north and the south should solve the issue of the waters of the West Sea on the principle of deciding on the base line of the territorial waters of reunified Korea on the West Sea of Korea and, basing themselves on it, declaring a new West Sea territorial waters limit internally and externally.
Third, both sides should solve the issue of the waters of the West Sea on the principle of broad-mindedly abandoning all their assertions, a leftover of the Cold War era, which may spark off clashes.
Fourth, it is necessary to settle the issue of the waters of the West Sea on the principle of strictly meeting the legal and institutional requirements on which an agreement had already been reached and which are recognized at home and abroad. The head of the delegation of the north side held that the current talks should base themselves on these principles in discussing the issue of fixing the waters for north-south joint fishing, the issue of defining the military boundary on the West Sea, the direct sailing of the north's civilian ships to Haeju Port, the issue of taking a series of confidence-building measures for preventing the recurrence of clashes in the waters of the sea and the issue of safe sailing of all ships of the north across the Jeju Straits, etc. Then the chief delegate of the south side made a keynote address. At the talks each of the two sides expressed its own stance and views on the agenda item. The talks continue.
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