Archive for Saturday, September 27, 2008

Report: North proposes holding military talks

September 27, 2008

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— North Korea has proposed holding military talks with South Korea in what would be the first official contact between the countries since Seoul's new conservative government took office in February, a defense official said Friday.

The overture comes amid heightened tensions over North Korea's decision to abandon a disarmament-for-aid pact and to begin reassembling its nuclear reprocessing plant in Yongbyon.

Earlier this week, North Korea ordered U.N. nuclear monitors to leave the country and said it would reinsert nuclear material into a plutonium-producing facility within a week, sparking alarm among its neighbors.

The North sent a message Thursday proposing the talks, and the South Korean government is discussing whether to accept the offer, an official at South Korea's Defense Ministry said late Friday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

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