[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Koreas hold military talks
Rival nations begin first talks in two years in bid to ease cross border tensions.
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2010 03:02 GMT
Tensions between North and South Korea have deteriorated after the sinking of the Cheonan warship in March [AFP]

North and South Korea have begun their first military talks in two years, aimed at trying to ease tensions heightened by the sinking of a South Korean frigate near their disputed sea border.

Seoul's defence ministry said on Thursday that officers from the two sides met at the border truce village of Panmunjom after the North had accepted the South's revised date for the meeting.

North Korea earlier this month proposed the military meeting to discuss the western maritime border and anti-North Korean leaflets spread by South Koreans.

Seoul's defence ministry would not confirm what was on the agenda.

History of tensions

The poorly marked western sea border, drawn by the United Nations at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, is a constant source of tension between the two Koreas.

IN DEPTH

 

Q&A: Tensions on the Korean peninsula
  Your Views: North and South Korea
  Video: S Korea vows action over sinking
  Focus: North Korea, a state of war
  Background: China's Korean balancing act 

Seoul has repeatedly rejected the North's long-standing demands that the sea border be changed. The navies of the two Koreas engaged in three bloody skirmishes near the area in 1999, 2002 and 2009.

Military tensions have been high since the Cheonan, a South Korean patrol ship sank in March, killing 46 sailors. South Korea and the United States say the vessel was sunk by a North Korean torpedo, a claim Pyongyang denies.

Seoul and Washington responded to the sinking by staging series of joint military exercises off the peninsula, and by squeezing the North's economy with tougher sanctions.

The talks on Thursday come as South Korea and the US hold another set of naval drills in the Yellow Sea off the west coast of the Korean peninsula, near where the South Korean vessel sank.

The exercises are the second in a series of joint manoeuvres focusing on anti-submarine warfare tactics, techniques, and procedures, according to the South Korean defence ministry.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.