Koreas-Talks 02-28

Associated Press

South Korean Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, center, and his North Korean counterpart Kwon Ho Ung, second from left, arrive to hold their high-level meeting today in Pyongyang, Nor

Follow-through sought

South Korea pressed North Korea today to follow through on its pledge to start dismantling its atomic weapons program in the first high-level talks between the two Koreas since the communist regime’s October nuclear test.

North Korea did not give a direct response to the appeal, but proposed a full resumption of humanitarian projects, apparently referring to aid shipments the South has regularly given the impoverished nation as well as reunions of families separated since the 1950-53 Korean War.


The Cabinet-level meetings, the highest regular dialogue channel between the two sides, got under way in Pyongyang, North Korea, for the first time in seven months Tuesday against the backdrop of a landmark international nuclear agreement. That deal calls for the North to shutter its main nuclear reactor within 60 days in exchange for aid.

In today’s meeting — the first formal negotiating session in the talks that run through Friday — the South’s chief delegate, Unification Minister Lee Jae-joung, urged North Korea to "quickly implement the Feb. 13 agreement," said delegation spokesman Lee Kwan-se. The minister also expressed regret over the North’s missile and nuclear tests, blaming them for the seven-month freeze in the inter-Korean reconciliation process, the spokesman said, according to pool reports.

What To Read Next
Fundraising is underway to move the giant ball of twine from the Highland, Wisconsin, home of creator James Frank Kotera, who died last month at age 75, 44 years after starting the big ball.