Koreas Hold First Talks Since Island Attack
Look to set stage for higher-level talks later
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2011 7:28 AM CST
North Korean Col. Ri Sun Gyun, right front, arrives with other North Korean soldiers for a military meeting in the DMZ that separates the two Koreas, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2011.   ((AP Photo/ Defense Ministry))
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(Newser) – Colonels from North and South Korea held talks inside the heavily guarded Demilitarized Zone today in the rivals' first official dialogue since the North's deadly artillery barrage of a South Korean island in November. In the border village of Panmunjom, the two sides worked to set a date and logistics for higher-level defense talks aimed at discussing the two attacks last year, according to South Korea's Defense Ministry.

If officers are able to agree on a meeting of defense chiefs, it would be the first such high-level defense meeting between the Koreas in more than three years. "Can (the talks) go well today?" Col. Moon Sang-kyun, the chief South Korean delegate, asked his North Korean counterpart while shaking his hand. Ri Son Kwon replied: "Yes, they will go well." No independent journalists were allowed to cover the meeting and no details of the results were made public. The two sides will talk again tomorrow.