SEOUL, May 7 (Xinhuanet) -- South Korea and the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Friday agreed to hold high-level
military talks in Pyongyang, South Korean Yonhap News Agency reported.
The move came minutes after the two countries ended inter-Korean ministerial talks there earlier Friday, said
"Our military has informed us that they concur on
holding the military talks," Kwon Ho-ung, the DPRK's chief delegate for the
talks, told his South Koran counterpart, Jeong Se-hyun, in a hastily arranged
meeting, said Yonhap.
During the four-day inter-Korean high level meeting,
South Korean side urged the DPRK to keep its promise to hold inter-Korean high
level defense officials' talks as soon as possible.
Earlier DPRK had insisted that the promised defense
officials' meeting would be possible only when South Korea agrees not to
holdjoint military exercises with the United States.
South Korean delegation was reportedly to have
rejected such demand of the DPRK.
South Korea holds about a dozen joint military
exercises with the United States annually. About 37,000 US troops are stationed
in South Korea.
In previous inter-Korean ministerial talks, the two
sides have agreed in principle to hold high level military talks to discuss
measures to avoid possible naval clashes along the Northern Limit Line (NLL),
the so-called inter-Korean sea border, during the crab-catching season.
The controversial sea border is rich in crabs. The
DPRK did notaccept the NLL conception.
The navies of the two countries fought gun battles in
the area in 1999 and 2002, resulting in high casualties on both sides, as they
tried to protect fishing boats operating there.
Earlier Friday, the two sides concluded the 14th
Inter-Korean Ministerial Meeting in Pyongyang with a three-point joint
statement, which says that the next round of such meeting will be held in Seoul
on Aug. 3-6.
The South Korean delegation was scheduled to return
home later Friday. Enditem