S. Korea accepts DPRK's military talks proposal

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The South Korean government has decided to accept a proposal Thursday from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to hold high-ranking inter-Korean military talks, Seoul's unification ministry said.

Seoul also plans to suggest holding separate talks between high-ranking government officials from the two sides to discuss the issue of denuclearization, the ministry said in a press release.

The move came after the DPRK's Armed Forces Minister Kim Yong-chun earlier in the day proposed discussing "pending" military issues in a message sent to South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin.

In a telegram directed at his South Korean counterpart, Kim said the talks are aimed at discussing "defusing military tension on the Korean peninsula," the ministry, which oversees inter- Korean affairs, added.

South Korea will propose preparatory meetings prior to the high-level talks, the unification ministry said.

The talks, if held, will mark the first major contact between the two sides for years. Pyongyang has recently repeated call for inter-Korean dialogue. But Seoul previously dismissed Pyongyang's recent peace overtures as "insincere," and called for an inter-Korean meeting to confirm Pyongyang's commitment to its denuclearization.

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