Koreas agree to hold working-level military talks Feb 8

South and North Korea agreed to hold working-level military talks on Feb 8 in what would be their first dialogue since the North`s deadly artillery attack on a border island.

Updated: Feb 02, 2011, 16:46 PM IST

Seoul: South and North Korea agreed to
hold working-level military talks on Feb 8, officials said, in
what would be their first dialogue since the North`s deadly
artillery attack on a border island last November.

North Korea sent a notice to the South`s defense ministry
earlier in the day, proposing the new date for the preliminary
talks, and the South accepted it in a reply message, ministry
officials said yesterday.

"Both sides also agreed that the working-level military
talks will involve colonel-level officers from the two sides,"
an official said.

The talks will be held at the border truce village of
Panmunjom separating the two Koreas.

The meeting is aimed at setting the date, place and
agenda for higher-level military talks, possibly at the level
of defense ministers.

The preliminary talks are expected to be led by Col Moon
Sang-gyun of the South and Col Ri Son-kwon of the North, who
have served as representatives for working-level military
talks from each side for years, the official said on the
condition of anonymity.

Tensions persist on the Korean Peninsula after the
North`s artillery strike on Yeonpyeong Island killed two
marines and two civilians. The bombardment came after a
multinational investigation concluded that North Korea
torpedoed a South Korean warship, killing 46 sailors last
March.

South Korea had originally suggested that the
working-level talks take place on Feb 11, but North Korea
wanted to bring the talks forward by 10 days.

The agreement on the new date for the preliminary talks
came a day after the South rejected the North`s demand for an
early meeting.

PTI