South and North Korea will resume high-level talks later Sunday to work out differences on how to defuse tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Cheong Wa Dae said.
The talks between South Korean National Security Adviser Kim Kwan-jin and Hwang Pyong-so, the North Korean military’s top political officer, were adjourned at 4:15 a.m., presidential spokesman Min Kyung-wook told reporters.
The marathon talks — which lasted for nearly 10 hours at the border village of Panmunjom — were joined by South Korean Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yang-gon.
“The two sides held in-depth consultations on how to resolve the situation that was recently created, and how to improve inter-Korean relations,” Min said.
South and North Korea will review each other’s positions before resuming the talks at 3 p.m., Min said, without elaborating.
The talks, which were first proposed by North Korea on Friday, came an hour after the Pyongyang-set deadline for defusing the crisis passed.
On Thursday, North Korea gave a 48-hour ultimatum for South Korea to end propaganda broadcasts along the heavily fortified border and dismantle all loudspeakers, saying it otherwise will launch “a strong military action.”
North Korea also warned Friday that it is prepared to engage in “all-out war.”
Propaganda broadcasts have become a bone of contention between the two Koreas after South Korea resumed them earlier this month for the first time in 11 years.
South Korea took the measure in retaliation against North Korea for a recent land mine attack that maimed two South Korean soldiers. South Korea accused the North of planting the mines inside the demilitarized zone that separates the two Koreas, a charge denied by North Korea.
North Korea views the psychological warfare critical of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as an insult to its dignity. The isolated country is also concerned that an influx of outside information could pose a threat to Kim.
Still, South Korea has vowed to continue the psychological warfare.
Tensions between the Koreas have risen dramatically since Thursday’s exchange of artillery fire.
The North fired one artillery shell across the border Thursday afternoon before firing several more rounds later in apparent anger over South Korea’s resumption of propaganda broadcasts. South Korea fired back dozens of shells.
The North later claimed that it never started Thursday’s exchange of fire with the South and accused Seoul of fabricating the allegations that the communist nation fired first. (Yonhap)
The Korea Herald