Issue of military provocation to be raised at talks with DPRK: defense chief

15:50, February 19, 2010      

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South Korea's defense minister said Friday Seoul will raise the issue of recent military provocation along the disputed sea border at the working-level military talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), local media reported.

"(The South Korean side) will definitely raise the issue of military provocation," Yonhap News Agency quoted defense minister Kim Tae-young as telling the parliamentary defense committee, referring to the DPRK's recent firing of artillery shells into waters near the contentious maritime border between the two countries.

At the time, Seoul's military warned the DPRK to stop shootings, calling the move "provocative" acts that raise unnecessary tension on the Korean peninsula.

In late January, the DPRK proposed working-level military talks over the joint industrial complex in the border town of Kaesong, which local media here said is part of Pyongyang's "mixed signals" of raising military tension and opening up dialogue with Seoul at the same time.

Seoul later suggested holding the meeting on February 23, but Pyongyang has yet to formally respond.

South Korea has long called for the DPRK to ease restriction on customs clearance, border-crossing and communications system at the industrial complex located in the border town of Kaesong, a long-standing symbol of inter-Korean economic cooperation whose operation has occasionally been threatened by worsening ties between the two sides.

Source: Xinhua
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