North, South Korea end talks without any agreement

Seoul, Dec 12 (IANS) South Korea and North Korea on Saturday ended their vice ministerial talks without any agreement, according to Seoul’s unification ministry.

The dialogue, which continued for two days at North Korea’s border city of Kaesong, ended without any joint press conference, Xinhua reported.

The two sides failed to reach an agreement on a schedule for the next round of the vice ministerial-level talks, indicating a de-facto failure of the talks.

The high-level talks showed signs of differences between the two sides over major issues from the very beginning as they failed to reach any agreement during the first day of the talks that lasted from early morning through late night.

The second day’s dialogue continued till late night, but suspensions were much longer than the running time of actual talks.

South Korea has called for North Korea to agree upon regular reunions of Korean families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Pyongyang has wanted the resumption of tours to North Korea’s scenic resort of Mount Kumgang. The tours, launched in 1998, were suspended in July 2008 when a South Korean female tourist was shot dead by a North Korean soldier after allegedly venturing into an off-limit area.

Seoul’s three-member delegation was led by Vice Unification Minister Hwang Boo-gi, and his Pyongyang counterpart was Jon Jong-su, vice director of the secretariat of North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.

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