North and South Korea Hold High-Level Military Talks

North and South Korea Hold High-Level Military Talks

Top military generals from South and North Korea met on their border on Wednesday but failed to narrow their differences during a rare meeting that followed exchanges of fire recently between troops of both sides, a South Korean spokesman said.

Gen. Kim Yong-chol, the chief of the General Bureau of Reconnaissance, the North’s top intelligence agency, met with Lt. Gen. Ryu Je-seung, chief of the Office of Planning and Coordination at the South’s Ministry of National Defense, said Kim Min-seok, the spokesman of the South Korean ministry.

During the five-hour talk held at the border village of Panmunjom — north of Seoul, South Korea — North Korea reiterated its objection to the Northern Limit Line in the Yellow Sea, which was drawn by the United Nations at the end of the Korean War in 1953 and defended by South Korea as a legitimate western sea border, Mr. Kim said. The North also repeated its claim to a new sea border many miles south of the Northern Limit Line and demanded that the South keep its ships away from the new maritime demarcation line.

The navies of the two Koreas fought bloody skirmishes on the disputed Northern Limit Line in 1999, 2002 and 2009. On Oct. 7, the two sides’ navy boats exchanged fire over the line, without hitting each other.

North Korea also demanded that South Korea stop its conservative activists, including defectors from the North, and its media from slandering the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, the South Korean spokesman said. On Friday, the two armies exchanged machine-gun fire after the North tried to shoot down large balloons carrying anti-Kim Jong-un propaganda leaflets that South Korean activists had released across the border. No casualties were reported.

“Our side made it clear that we will defend the Northern Limit Line and that in our free democracy, we cannot stop civic groups from launching balloons or control news media,” said Mr. Kim, the Defense Ministry spokesman. “The meeting ended without setting a date for future talks or reaching any other agreement.”

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