North and South Korean militaries hold talks

The South Korean delegation, led by Major-General Kim Do Gyun, being greeted by a North Korean delegate as they crossed the border at the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom yesterday. PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL • North and South Korea yesterday discussed ways to ease tensions on the border during a rare general-level military meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom.

The last time the two Koreas held military talks was in 2007.

 

While the two militaries pledged to honour their previous agreements on easing cross-border tensions, the two Koreas appeared to remain apart over the implementation process, reported The Korea Herald.

The closed-door meeting, which started at 10am at a North Korean building inside Panmunjom, was originally meant to end in the late afternoon, but stretched until 9pm.

"It was not like we have significant differences... The issue we discussed today is not something that can be solved overnight," said South Korea's chief delegate, Major-General Kim Do Gyun. "As you are well aware, military issues need serious discussion."

The North Korean delegates, led by Lieutenant-General An Ik San, urged the South to suspend its joint military exercises with the US.

Major-Gen Kim and Lt-Gen An are two-star generals.

 
 
 

In response, the South Korean side said the measure needs further discussion with the US.

Both sides agreed to completely restore military communication lines. They also exchanged views on demilitarising the inter-Korean truce village of Panmunjom on a trial basis, and agreed to thoroughly implement a 2004 bilateral pact on preventing accidental clashes in the West Sea, said Yonhap news agency.

Both sides also discussed halting all hostile acts against each other, turning areas around the Northern Limit Line into a maritime peace zone and other issues that were mentioned in the Panmunjom Declaration adopted after the April 27 inter-Korean summit.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2018, with the headline 'North and South Korean militaries hold talks'. Print Edition | Subscribe