Inter-Korean General-level Military Talks Close
Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)
Panmunjom, March 3 (KCNA) -- The third north-south general-level military talks which were opened at the Thongil House in the portion of the north side in Panmunjom Thursday were closed Friday. The north side consistently maintained the principled stand to be maintained in discussing the agenda item at the second-day sitting, too, and made sincere efforts at the discussion of issues raised.
The head of the north side's delegation in his speech again made a detailed analysis of the common points and differences of both sides manifested in the course of the discussion.
According to him, the common points lie in that both sides shared the view that it is necessary to make joint efforts to prevent the recurrence of clashes in the waters of the West Sea of Korea and realize joint fishing on the principle of promoting co-prosperity and common interests with a view to barring ships of the third country from illegal fishing and protecting the nation's interests.
He referred to the following differences: First, the north side proposed removing the root cause of the recurrence of clashes in the waters of the West Sea while the south side suggested a series of confidence-building measures.
Second, the north side held that all the assertions of both sides which triggered off clashes in the past be discarded and a new solution be sought on a new basis but the south side persistently insisted on the worn-out assertion considered to be unfair in various aspects.
Third, the north side proposed a simultaneous discussion on the issue of fixing the waters for joint fishing and the issue of defining the military boundary on the West Sea as far as the modality for discussing the issue is concerned but the south side evasively proposed defining the waters for joint fishing only. Fourth, the north side urged the south side to stop staging all the war exercises including joint military exercises with the United States to terminate the military confrontation on the Korean Peninsula but the south side tried as hard as possible to avoid the issue of halting the military exercises, talking about their "defensive" nature and the like. He went on to say:
These differences arouse our suspicion that the south side is keen to achieve a sinister aim by maintaining the status quo and its behavior is endangering the fate of the hard-won north-south general-level military talks.
If the south side intends to truly defuse the tension on the peninsula and put an end to the confrontation there, it should boldly do away with its outdated way of thinking and keep pace with the grand march of the nation for reunification, he urged. Both sides agreed to further the discussion on issues related to the agenda item at the next talks.
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