Nothing much has happened on Day 1 of inter-Korean working-level military talks, but I thought I might update everyone on what’s happened so far:
– The talks are being held on the South Korean side of the border truce village of Panmunjeom among colonel-level officials.
- The plan is to hold preparatory talks before higher-level military talks in the future.
- The Feb. 8th talks reportedly lasted over nine hours and ended without an agreement on the agenda and rank of the officials for the envisioned higher-level military meeting.
- South Korea’s opening position: The Cheonan sinking and Yeonpyeong Island shelling must be discussed at the higher-level military talks. The current preparatory meeting would gauge Pyongyang’s sincerity in taking responsibility for its actions while preventing further provocations.
- North Korea’s opening position: Pyongyang claims that discussing the Cheonan and Yeonpyeong Island incidents exclusively is like rejecting higher-level military talks. It also wants to deal with these two issues simultaneously with establishing mutual trust.
- The two Koreas will meet again on February 9th at 10:00 a.m. (KST) for day 2 of talks.