October 2, 2008

“Little Progress” in Inter-Korean Military Talks – Yonhap

Text of report in English by South Korean news agency Yonhap

Panmunjom [P'anmunjo'm], Korea, Oct. 2 (Yonhap) - Military officials from the two Koreas met here Thursday for first inter- Korean military dialogue in eight months, but the talks ended shortly without any significant progress, an official said.

"The meeting ended, but there was little progress made," the official said, asking not to be identified.

Pak Rim-su, North Korea's chief delegate to the talks, later said Thursday's meeting was called to raise the issue of Seoul's spreading of "propaganda leaflets" throughout his communist homeland.

"The talks dealt with the South's spreading of propaganda leaflets," Pak said shortly before crossing the military demarcation line that divides the two Koreas.

He acknowledged there were little progress made at the talks, claiming the South Korean delegation was "not ready solve problems."

The talks, held on the South Korean side of the joint security area, better known as the truce village of Panmumjom, ended less than two hours after they got off to a rough start.

The first official talks between the divided Koreas since the inauguration of Seoul's Lee Myung-bak [Ri Myo'ng-pak] administration in February were delayed by nearly an hour as the North Korean delegation demanded the entire meeting be open to the media.

Seoul protested, saying no previous inter-Korean dialogue had been fully open to the media and that the North was trying to turn the talks into a venue for its propaganda.

Originally published by Yonhap news agency, Seoul, in English 0353 2 Oct 08.

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