Koreas open military talks to reduce tension

? North and South Korea opened high-level military talks today for the first time in almost two years, aiming to reduce tension along the world’s most heavily fortified border and prevent accidental naval skirmishes.

Two-star generals from the rival Koreas were meeting at the border truce village of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone, an official at the Inter-Korean Dialogue Office said on condition of anonymity.

The two-day talks are the first inter-Korean meetings among generals since June 2004.

The talks had originally been set to take place between one-star generals. But the North last week requested that the rank of the head delegates be upgraded to two-star officers – making the talks the highest-ranking military contact between the North and South since the Korean War.