SEOUL (Reuters) – Preliminary military talks between the rival Koreas collapsed this week and there was no immediate sign of a restart as both two sides doggedly held their ground on the terms for dialogue.
Here are some questions and answers about what went wrong and what lies ahead:
WHY WERE THESE PRELIMINARY TALKS SO IMPORTANT?
Tensions have been running high on the peninsula since November when the North bombarded a South Korean village on a remote island and revealed big advances in its nuclear program. Heated vitriol was exchanged, raising concerns the situation could spiral out of control and result in war. Worried by the escalation and the North’s nuclear muscle, Washington and Beijing demanded their respective allies on the peninsula talk.
SEOUL (Reuters) – Military talks between the rival Koreas collapsed this week as the two sides argued over the issues responsible for raised tensions on the divided peninsula.
Experts say the North will stage another incident at some time, and breakdown in the talks could be the catalyst. Here are some scenarios:
SEOUL, Feb 10 (Reuters) – North and South Korea traded blame
on Thursday for the breakdown of military talks as a stalemate
emerged over the starting point for negotiations.
North Korea said it would not take part as long as the South
did not want to improve ties. South Korea said the North had to
acknowledge its role in two attacks last year which killed 50
SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea said it will no longer take part in military talks with Seoul after walking out of a preliminary meeting, state media reported on Thursday, as a stalemate emerged over the starting point for dialogue.
The United States, which has nearly 30,000 troops in South Korea, said it was hopeful the rivals could work out their differences and resume talks as soon as possible to reduce tensions on the divided peninsula.
SEOUL (Reuters) – Military talks between the rival Koreas have “collapsed,” a unification ministry official in Seoul said on Wednesday, dealing a setback to efforts to defuse tension after the North attacked a southern island in November.
“The talks have collapsed; they haven’t even agreed on a date for their next meeting,” the official told Reuters, referring to the first talks between the neighbours since the attack on the island of Yeonpyeong, which killed four people and raised the threat of possible all-out war.
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea said on Wednesday it had accepted a proposal by the rival North to hold talks on reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, in another sign of easing tensions on the divided peninsula.
The announcement came on the second day of military talks about two deadly attacks last year that killed 50 South Koreans.
SEOUL, Feb 8 (Reuters) – The rival Koreas held their first
talks since a deadly attack on a South Korean island last year
amid signs of a thaw in tensions as momentum builds for a
resumption of aid-for-disarmament negotiations.
Tuesday’s preliminary military talks clear one of the
roadblocks to a possible resumption of six-way talks aimed at
ending North Korea’s nuclear-weapons programme, last held more
than two years ago when the North walked out.
SEOUL (Reuters) – North and South Korean military officers met at their heavily fortified border on Tuesday for the first cross-border talks in over four months, in a bid to defuse tensions on the divided peninsula.
Two deadly attacks against the South last year, and the North’s revelations of major advances in its nuclear programme, spiked tensions to their highest level in years and caused jitters in financial markets as the risk of war rose.
SEOUL (Reuters) – Military officers from rivals North and South Korea meet at their heavily fortified border on Tuesday for the first inter-Korean talks since tension peaked on the peninsula late last year.
Here are some questions and answers about the talks.
WHY HAS THE NORTH PUSHED FOR TALKS?
The North has said it wants to let “bygones be bygones” and hopes for peace on the peninsula. Pyongyang says it is ready for unconditional talks, including about two deadly attacks last year.
SEOUL (Reuters) – South Korea has proposed bilateral nuclear talks with the isolated North, as Seoul seeks to gauge Pyongyang’s sincerity about giving up its nuclear weapons programme in line with past international agreements.
The North has yet to respond to Seoul’s request.
Pyongyang has said it wants to restart aid-for-disarmament talks, despite walking out of the forum in 2009 and declaring the six-party format dead.