North Korea and UN command in South Korea hold talks

March 2nd, 2009 - 2:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Seoul, March 2 (DPA) High-ranking officials of the North Korean army and the United Nations Command (UNC) in South Korea met Monday as tension on the Korean peninsula mounted.
North Korea asked for the meeting, held at the heavily fortified border village Panmunjom, the US-led UNC said, making it the first meeting between the two sides in almost seven years.

Over the weekend, the communist country’s state-controlled media accused US troops stationed in the South of “provocations” along the demilitarised buffer zone between the two Koreas.

South Korea and the US are planning to hold joint annual military drills next week.

UNC regarded the request as positive, the body said in a statement.

“These talks can be useful in building trust and preventing misunderstanding as well as introducing transparency regarding the intentions of both sides.”

Pyongyang in the past weeks repeatedly threatened the government in Seoul with destruction, accusing the South of pursuing a confrontation policy.

According to South Korean reports, the communist state prepared to test a ballistic missile theoretically capable of reaching US territory. North Korea claimed it was planning to launch a communication satellite into orbit.

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