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Talks Stall on Maritime Border Issue

Posted May. 18, 2006 03:00,   


North Korea revealed on May 17 its refusal of a proposal made by the South Korean government to discuss the matter of defining a new maritime border at an inter-Korean defense ministers’ meeting.

On the second day of the fourth general-level military talks held at the House of Peace in Southern Panmunjeom yesterday, the North Korean representative clung to the position that the matter of maritime border should be discussed first, saying, “Defining the maritime border is a matter that cannot be put off anymore, and there is no reason to take the matter to the defense ministerial meeting.” The meeting deadlocked.

Without any change in the North’s position, concluding a military guarantee contract on railroad and highway passage for former President Kim Dae-jung’s visit to North Korea on a newly reconnected railway, and an agreement on a shared fishing zone in the West Sea will both be dampened.

The two Koreas will hold a final round of meetings today.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com