North Walks Out on Korea Talks

Refuses to apologize for shelling South, sinking ship
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2011 6:56 AM CST
North Korean Army Col. Ri Sun Gyun, left, arrives with other North Korean delegates for a military meeting between the Koreas, at the south side of Panmunjom.   (AP Photo/Defense Ministry)
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(Newser) – North Korea packed up its toys and went home today, abruptly ending low-level military talks between the two Koreas in Panmunjom, reports the New York Times. Pressed by Seoul military officials to apologize for shelling Yeonpyeong in November and sinking a warship last March, the North “unilaterally walked away from the table and out of the meeting room,” according to a South Korean official. The talks' failure leaves a giant question mark over the topic of more substantive talks—much less six-party talks about Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The two sides “failed to narrow the differences over the agenda for a high-level meeting,” says a South Korean official, despite talks that ran long yesterday and into today. Pyongyang maintains that the South provoked the island attack, and denies responsibility in the sinking of the Cheonan.

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