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N. Korea, UN Command Hold 1st Talks in 6 Years

Posted March. 03, 2009 03:35,   


North Korea yesterday criticized a South Korea-U.S. joint drill in its first talks with the United Nations Command in more than six years.

A military source said North Korean generals strongly asked the command to stop the exercise “Key Resolve” in the 15th high-level talks in the border village of Panmunjom.

“In the 30-minute talks, the North said the joint exercise is increasing tension on the Korean Peninsula, mentioning the schedule of Key Resolve and the current move of the U.S. military on the peninsula,” the source said.

The U.N. Command rejected the request, saying Key Resolve is an annual defense drill and that it sent the specific training schedule to the North Feb. 18.

In a phone message sent Saturday, Pyongyang said Washington is committing a provocation in the border buffer zone under the tacit agreement of South Korea. The North proposed the talks to discuss easing tension on the peninsula to the command.

U.S. Air Force Major Gen. Johnny Weida, deputy chief of staff for the U.N. Command, and the North’s Lt. Gen. Ri Chan Bok attended the talks as the chief delegates of their respective sides.