Fresh Inter-Korean Talks End Without Agreement

      July 17, 2015 10:29

      North and South Korean officials met for the first time in a year on Thursday to discuss wages at the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex but failed to reach agreement.

      North Korea wants to hike the wages of workers, most of which are pocketed by the regime, whereas Seoul wants to make access easier for South Korean staff.

      The marathon discussions took place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. but concluded without any concrete deal. The two Koreas only agreed to have further talks.

      South and North Korean officials shake hands before talks in Kaesong on Thursday. /Newsis

      The two Koreas were mainly at loggerheads over the minimum wage for North Korean workers.

      The North in November last year unilaterally announced a hike of the minimum wage and other labor regulation changes.

      Seoul has refused to accept the changes.

      But the talks started in a friendly atmosphere.

      "It was probably optimistic to expect any substantial agreement since it's the first meeting in a year," a Unification Ministry official said. "It's already a success if we agree to meet again."

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