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. (Read more North Korea attacks South Korea stories.)

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