Thursday, February 13, 2014

Two Koreas divided over South's military drill

High-level talks between the two Koreas have ended without progress after the South rejected a demand to delay its annual military drills with the United States.

Senior officials from both sides met at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone on Wednesday - the first since South Korean President Park Geun-hye took office last year.

The South's Unification ministry says Pyongyang demanded an end to military provocations to improve relations. It urged the South to postpone the joint drills until the two Koreas hold reunions of families separated in the Korean War.

The reunions are scheduled to take place between the 20th and the 25th of this month. The military drills are scheduled to start on the 24th.

Seoul said the 2 events are unrelated and turned down the request. It said smooth reunions will be the first step for improving inter-Korean ties.

The 2 sides have agreed to continue discussions but they remain wide apart. The talks began at 10 AM and went on till 11:30 PM.

Concern is rising that the North may carry out a military provocation to protest the planned drills.