North Korea Urges Expansive Talks With South

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 22, 2013, 7:02 a.m.

North Korea on Thursday urged South Korea to par­ti­cip­ate in ex­tens­ive talks aimed at dra­mat­ic­ally en­han­cing bi­lat­er­al ties, which have im­proved slightly in re­cent days with an agree­ment to re­sume joint-eco­nom­ic activ­it­ies at a busi­ness com­plex on its side of their shared bor­der, the Yon­hap News Agency re­por­ted.

“There is a need to ex­pand co­oper­a­tion,” Py­ongy­ang’s pro­pa­ganda out­let, the Ro­dong Sin­mun, said in an ed­it­or­i­al that warned against al­low­ing spe­cif­ic points of con­ten­tion to stand in the way of bet­ter inter-Korean ties.

In the past, Seoul has de­man­ded as a pre­con­di­tion of any broad­er bi­lat­er­al ne­go­ti­ations that Py­ongy­ang take con­crete steps to show it is sin­cere about de­nuc­lear­iz­a­tion and apo­lo­gize for two 2010 at­tacks that killed scores of South Koreans.

Mean­while, Ja­pan’s seni­or atom­ic ne­go­ti­at­or traveled to Seoul on Thursday for meet­ings with high-rank­ing South Korean For­eign Min­istry of­fi­cials that were an­ti­cip­ated to in­clude dis­cus­sion of the nuc­le­ar im­passe with North Korea, Ky­odo News re­por­ted.

The two East Asi­an demo­cra­cies gradu­ally have deep­en­ing their mil­it­ary co­oper­a­tion — something that the United States has strongly sup­por­ted. Earli­er this month, South Korean and Ja­pan­ese fight­er planes for the first time flew to­geth­er in a joint mil­it­ary ex­er­cise — the U.S.-led Red Flag Alaska drill, the As­so­ci­ated Press re­por­ted on Wed­nes­day.

“We have al­lies that are now on the same sheet of mu­sic able to co­oper­ate, in­teg­rate and face a com­mon foe (North Korea),” U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Pa­gano, who led plan­ning for the drill, said in an in­ter­view with the Fairb­anks Daily News-Miner

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