Seoul Proposes Date for High-Level Cross-Border Talks

      October 16, 2014 09:59

      South Korea has proposed Oct. 30 as the date for high-level talks between the two Koreas, a Unification Ministry official said Wednesday.

      The official said the North has yet to respond but added, "A second round of talks will be held since the North Korean side agreed to that during the Asian Games."

      The official was referring to a delegation of top North Korean officials who recently made a surprise visit to the South. It was led by Hwang Pyong-so, a vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, and included Workers Party Secretary Choe Ryong-hae and Kim Yang-gon, the head of the United Front Department.

      A government official said issues like reunions of families separated by the Korean War “need to be addressed urgently."

      South Korea intends to put the family reunions at the top of the agenda, while North Korea is more interested in the South easing sanctions against the North imposed in the wake of the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan in March 2010, and the resumption of tours to the scenic Mt. Kumgang region.

      Another government source said issues like clashes along the de facto maritime border and halting propaganda leaflets being flown across the border were discussed in secret military talks on Wednesday, so the high-level talks can focus on other issues.

      Seoul hopes to maintain this two-track approach.

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