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    » 07/26/2007, 00.00

    NORTH KOREA - SOUTH KOREA

    Dispute over sea boundaries scuttles talks



    Pyongyang abandons negotiations, the highest level of military talks since the end of the Korean War, defining them “unfruitful”: sticking point the respective limits of territorial waters.

    Panmunjom (AsiaNews/Agencies) – High-level military talks between North and South Korea have broken down after the two sides failed to make progress on a long-running border dispute: the chief North Korean delegate said his side walked out of the talks after concluding that they were "fruitless”. North Korea wants the sea border to the west of the Korean Peninsula to be redrawn further south. The area lies in rich fishing grounds and has been the scene of bloody naval clashes in the past.

     

    The three-day talks, in the truce village of Panmunjom, are the highest-level military dialogue between the two Koreas, who have not signed a peace treaty since the 1950-53 Korean War.

     

    Issues such as preventing naval clashes and providing security for joint economic projects were also on the agenda, but analysts had expected that the sea border row would dominate proceedings.

    Pyongyang does not recognise the border, known as the Northern Limit Line, which was drawn up by the UN at the end of the Korean War.

    “We've come to a conclusion that we don't need these fruitless talks any more," North Korean delegation leader Lt-Gen Kim Yong-chol said as the talks broke down. The South Korean delegation head, Maj-Gen Jung Seung-jo, said it was "highly regrettable that we have to wrap up the three days of talks with no concrete results”.

    The talks came amid a wider improvement in North Korea's ties with the outside world.

    Last week it finally shut down its Yongbyon nuclear reactor after months of negotiations. The closure was part of an international disarmament deal under which North Korea is to receive energy aid and political incentives in return for ending its nuclear programme.

     

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    See also

    26/07/2005 NORTH KOREA – SOUTH KOREA
    Some signs of flexibility between the United States and North Korea in Beijing
    Six-nation talks re-start in Beijing. They were interrupted in June 2004 when North Korea walked away from the negotiating table.

    05/08/2005 SOUTH KOREA - NORTH KOREA
    Reunification (and outsourcing), Korean-style

    Seoul's KBS-TV and Pyongyang's Chosun Central TV sign co-production deal.



    10/09/2008 NORTH KOREA
    Kim Jong-il absent from parade: perhaps ill
    American secret services and South Korean diplomats affirm that he fell ill on August 22nd. Pyongyang rebuffs speculation as “western conspiracy”. Concerns for future succession and nuclear security.

    20/07/2005 JAPAN – NORTH KOREA
    Tokyo to demand total nuclear power ban on Pyongyang
    Government sources say Japan will ask for a total freeze on North Korea's nuclear energy programme during six-nation talks.

    11/08/2004 NORTH KOREA - SOUTH KOREA
    Pyongyang's irrational anger

    North Korea boycotts talks on economic cooperation with South Korea.





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