Seoul, Pyongyang hold military talks

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Seoul, July 31 (IANS) North and South Korea held high-level military talks on Tuesday to continue implementing the measures agreed at their historic leaders’ summit in April and to reduce cross-border tension.

A South Korean Defence Ministry spokesman told Efe news that the two delegations began their meeting at around 10 a.m. at the Peace House, in the Joint Security Area (JSA).

This is the second high-level military meeting since the April 27 summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, during which both countries agreed to improve bilateral ties and work for peace and the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula.

“Through the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration, I think seeds have already been planted. By putting our heads together for earnest deliberations despite the sweltering heat, I think we can definitely secure a good harvest this fall,” South Korean Maj. Gen. Kim Do-gyun, who headed the South Korean delegation, said at the beginning of Tuesday’s talks.

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Experts said the sides may exchange positions on the issue of easing the military presence in the JSA, a proposal that the South Korean Defence Ministry brought forward a week ago before a parliamentary committee.

They might also discuss the idea of withdrawing forces and their equipment from border guard posts on the militarized border in stages on a “trial basis”.

On the possible agenda of the meeting is also a joint programme with the US to unearth the remains of fallen soldiers during the Korean War (1950-1953) or a possible plan to designate the tense Northern Limit Line, the western maritime border, as a joint fishing zone.

–IANS

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