Cross-Border Talks End Without Progress

North and South Korea held their first high-level talks in seven years on Wednesday at the border truce village of Panmunjom, and agreed to ensure that the reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War be held without any hitches.

But the two sides failed to see eye-to-eye on other issues, including the resumption of halted package tours to the North's scenic Mt. Kumgang resort. The two sides plan to hold another round of high-level talks soon.

South and North Korean delegates shake hands before talks at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Wednesday. South and North Korean delegates shake hands before talks at the border truce village of Panmunjom on Wednesday.

A Unification Ministry official said the talks were held with both sides listening to their stances, but there were "differing views" on issues, which made them “unable to reach an agreement."

The focus is now on whether detailed discussions on specific issues can take place during the second round of high-level talks.

The North's official Korean Central News Agency covered the talks, but mentioned only that the two sides discussed "issues involving bilateral relations."

A government official said, "North Korea initially wanted to have high-level talks in secret, but Seoul did not accept that proposal."

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 13, 2014 10:06 KST