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People's Daily Online

S. Korea, DPRK hold general-level military talks

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 11:26, October 15, 2014

SEOUL, Oct. 15-- South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held general-level military talks on Wednesday at the truce village of Panmunjom, local media reported.

Local broadcaster YTN reported that military officials from the two Koreas started a 'closed-door' meeting at 10 a.m. local time ( 0100 GMT) in Panmunjom.

A source from the ruling Saenuri Party was quoted by Yonhap news agency as saying that the government was not officially talking about the dialogue as the DPRK called for the closed-door talks.

Rep. Park Ji-won of the main opposition New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) said issues on the Northern Limit Line (NLL) and the anti-DPRK leaflets distribution would be discussed.

Park Soo-jin, vice spokesperson of the Unification Ministry, told a press briefing that the government had nothing to confirm the media reports 'at the current stage.'

The military talks were the first such dialogue in almost four years between the two Koreas. The last working-level military talks were held in February 2011, and the general-level talks were in December 2007.

Earlier in the day, local daily Chosun Ilbo cited unidentified government sources as saying that the two Koreas would hold military talks, possibly a general-level dialogue, as early as Wednesday.

The newspaper reported that the DPRK might have proposed the talks to discuss cross-border scattering of anti-DPRK leaflets.

The talks came after the two Koreas exchanged fires near the military demarcation line last week. On Oct. 10, the DPRK fired machine gun toward balloons carrying anti-DPRK leaflets floated by a South Korean civic group. After bullets fell south of the border, the two Koreas traded machine gun fires.

On Oct. 7, naval ships of the two Koreas exchanged fires near the disputed western sea border after a DPRK patrol ship allegedly violated the Northern Limit Line (NLL), which Pyongyang does not recognize.

Another source was quoted by Yonhap as saying that a notice Pyongyang sent to Seoul right after the Oct. 7 incident served as the momentum to the inter-Korean military talks.

On the agenda would be measures to ease tensions near the NLL and the distribution of anti-DPRK leaflets, which Pyongyang has urged Seoul to stop.

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