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ROK, DPRK to Hold High-Level Military Talks

The Republic of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed to hold high-level military talks at Mount Geumgang in the DPRK later in May, the ROK Ministry of Defense said Wednesday.  

"The DPRK has proposed to hold the first round of high-level inter-Korean military talks at the DPRK mountain resort of Geumgang at 10 am (0100 GMT) on May 26," the ministry said in a statement.


"The DPRK also suggested holding a meeting between inter-Korean liaison officers at 10 am (0100 GMT) on May 14," said the ministry, adding the ROK has accepted these proposals.


The two countries agreed to hold the top-level military talks during ROK Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun's visit to Pyongyang last week. The two sides held the 14th Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting in the DPRK's capital from May 4-7.


A key agenda item for the military talks is expected to be measures aimed at avoiding clashes along the controversial inter-Korean sea border in the Yellow Sea during crab season, which is to begin in late May, Seoul officials and analysts said.


The Northern Limit Line (NLL), which is not accepted by the DPRK, has been a source of deadly conflicts between the two countries. The navies of the two countries fought gun battles in the area in 1999 and 2002, resulting in high casualties on both sides, as they tried to protect fishing boats operating there.


(Xinhua News Agency May 13, 2004)

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