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North, South Korea hold first talks in years

Published on Jun 9, 2013 10:04 AM
 

SEOUL (AFP) - North and South Korean officials sat down for their first talks in years on Sunday, confronting decades of mutual distrust in a search for some positive end to months of soaring military tensions.

The working-level discussions, which began at around 10:00 am (0100 GMT) in the border truce village of Panmunjom, were intended to pave the way for ministerial-level talks in Seoul on Wednesday.

The agenda focused on restoring suspended commercial links, including the Kaesong joint industrial complex that the North effectively shut down in April as tensions between the historic rivals peaked.

The talks came about after an unexpected reversal on Thursday from North Korea, which suddenly dropped its default tone of high-decibel belligerence and proposed opening a dialogue.

In this March 19, 2013 file photo, a South Korean soldier stands inside the Military Armistice Committee meeting room at the border village of Panmunjom (DMZ) that separates the two Koreas since the Korean War, in Paju, north of Seoul, South Korea. North and South Korea will sit down to their first talks for years on Sunday, confronting decades of mutual distrust in an apparent search for some positive end to months of soaring military tensions. -- FILE PHOTO: AP
 
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