Monday, June 25, 2018

THREATS FROM NORTH KOREA: Working-level military talks between two Koreas

The two Koreas are holding working-level military talks in the coming hours on fully reconnecting bilateral military connection lines. Seoul's defense ministry says the meeting started at 1000 hours, local time, in Paju, just south of the inter-Korean border.

The South Korean delegation is being led by Army Colonel Cho Yong-geun, and the North Korean delegation by Colonel Om Chang-nam. Monday's talks are a follow-up to an agreement reached at general-level negotiations last week.

A ministry official said the two sides will discuss working procedures to completely restore the East Sea and West Sea district military communication lines. They serve to prevent possible provocations and conflict between them.

The West Sea channel was severed two years ago after the shutdown of the inter-Korean Kaesong Industrial Complex. It was restored in January for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics, but it's only capable of phone communication. As for the East Sea lines, they were suspended in 2011 amid military tensions.

These talks are the first of their kind in several years, since the deadly attack on the South Korean warship Cheonan in 2010 and the shelling of Yeonpyeong-do Island later in the same year. The talks are part of the ongoing efforts to implement the Panmunjom Declaration from the April 27th inter-Korean summit, which includes reducing military tentions and building trust.

The discussions have even more meaning as today marks the 68th anniversary of the Korean War.

Source: Arirang News

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