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High-level Korean talks end without progress

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High-level military discussions between North and South Korea made no progress on disputed issues such as the maritime border between the two neighbours, the government in Seoul said, according to a media report Thursday.

The two sides reached no agreement on their de facto maritime border in the seas west of the Korean peninsular, nor on propaganda leaflets released by activists in the South, nor on the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island by the North in 2010, newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported.

“Despite being sincere throughout the talks with a will to improve bilateral ties, the two sides failed to narrow their differences,” Defence Ministry spokesman Kim Min Seok said after Wednesday’s talks at the truce border village of Panmunjom.

Seoul suggested a round of high-level political talks on 30 October, but there has been no response so far from Pyongyang.

Separately, it was reported Thursday that North Korea’s top military official sought direct talks with South Korea’s national security advisor earlier this month, Yonhap News Agency reported.

Hwang Pyong So from the North sent a letter to Kim Kwan Jin on October 7 requesting an “emergency one-on-one” meeting after the two Koreas’ navies exchanged gunfire near their disputed Yellow Sea border, a Unification Ministry official told reporters.

The request for talks was denied, Yonhap said, without giving further details. SAPA

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