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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Inter-Korean General-level Military Talks Close

Korean Central News Agency of DPRK via Korea News Service (KNS)

   Pyongyang, May 19 (KCNA) -- The 4th North-South General-level Military Talks which opened in the portion of the south side in Panmunjom closed Thursday. For the successful talks the north side made an analysis and review of the differences manifested in both sides' stands at the 3rd talks and in the subsequent period and on this basis advanced more specific proposals related to the agenda item.
    The proposal for removing the very cause of military clashes in the waters of the West Sea of Korea and realizing joint fishing there and all other proposals put forward by the north side's delegation are fair and aboveboard offers which fully meet the requirements of the June 15 era of reunification and they indicate practical ways of defusing the tension as an urgent issue, the north side noted.
    The south side, while recognizing that these proposals serve as ways of settling issues, arbitrarily asserted that the "northern boundary" was defined as "non-aggression sea boundary" in the North-South Basic Agreement and its Annex on Non-Aggression which were adopted and effectuated in the 1990s. It went the lengths of insisting that the more than 50 years old boundary is the one that should be observed by the north and the south in the light of the requirements of either "principle on the recognition of the mandate once granted" or the "principle on the prescription."
    By the "principle on the recognition of the right once granted," which cannot be considered to be a principle, the south side meant having a mandate once granted recognized by other party due to "complex factors such as results of discussion, approval, connivance, etc., the north side noted, asking the south side with whom it reached an agreement on the "northern boundary" and with whose approval and at whose connivance it got such a mandate. The south side was not in a position to reply to this. In face of such strong censure from the north side, the south side brought forward what it called "measures for improving the situation" this time, throwing deliberate obstacles to the talks and, at the same time, resorting to delaying tactics by raising issues irrelevant to the agenda item.
    Strongly criticizing such behavior of the south side as a disturbing behavior to sidestep the issue of removing the root cause of clashes in the waters of the West Sea and a hypocritical move to take secondary steps for confidence building while shelving the fundamental issues, the head of the north side stated that "detente" and "building of peace mechanism" oft-repeated by the south side are nothing but empty words.
    The issue of fixing the Military Demarcation Line in the waters of the West Sea is, among other things, a touchstone showing whether the south side stands for detente and peace on the Korean Peninsula or not, he said, noting that a top priority task of defusing the military tension at present is an issue of removing the root cause of clashes in the sensitive waters of the West Sea, above all, and solution to the issue may have a good or bad impact on the process to improve the inter-Korean relations.
    In conclusion, he called on both sides to make sincere efforts to bring the discussion of the agenda item to the earliest possible successful conclusion, prompted by the wishes to make up for the precious half a century wasted due to antagonism and confrontation and achieve a good consensus, thus giving joy to all the fellow countrymen.
    He declared that if the south side comes out for the talks, truly ready to discuss the issue of fixing the MDL in the waters of the West Sea, then it will be possible to resume the inter-Korean general-level talks.

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