Two Koreas to hold second round of high-level talks

AFP , Thursday 13 Feb 2014

Korean talks
In this photo released by the South Korean Unification Ministry, South Korean chief delegate Kim Kyou-hyun, second from right, shakes hands with his North Korean counterpart Won Tong Yon, third from left, during their meeting at the border village of Panumjom, South Korea, Wednesday,12 Feb. 2014. (Photo:AP)

North and South Korea will hold a second round of high-level talks on Friday, the South's Unification Ministry said, as they seek to resolve a row over looming South Korea-US military drills.

The meeting will again be held at the border truce village of Panmunjom with the same vice minister-level delegations that participated in a first round of talks on Wednesday.

They mark the highest-level sit-down between the two rivals since 2007.

Wednesday's discussions ran late into the night, but ended without any tangible agreement or joint statement.

Although the talks have no fixed agenda, the South is focused on ensuring that a planned reunion later this month for family members separated by the 1950-53 Korean War goes ahead as scheduled.

The North is insisting that the start of South Korea's annual military exercises with the United States, which overlaps with the reunion event, be postponed.

Seoul has refused, arguing that the two issues cannot be linked.

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