PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) – For the moment, North and South Korea have pulled back from the brink, agreeing Sunday to continue their first high-level talks in almost a year and temporarily pushing aside vows of imminent war.
They began shortly after the passing on Saturday afternoon of a North Korean deadline for Seoul to halt loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts across the border or face military action.
The South’s National Security Adviser Kim Kwan-jin plans to meet Hwang Pyong-so, the top political officer of the North’s military, there again at 3 p.m. Sunday, he added. They said that Unification Minister Hong Yong-pyo of South Korea and Kim Yang-gon, a senior North Korean Workers’ Party secretary in charge of relations with the South, had also taken part.
Details about the meeting are yet to emerge, with reporters not allowed to attend and no press conference conducted after the late finish. North Korea regularly condemns the manoeuvres as a preparation for war.
From 12am to 1pm on Saturday, the U.S. and South Korea conducted a joint air force training session, which practiced the targeting of an imaginary enemy, without real bombing activities.
Pyongyang made an initial proposal on Friday for a meeting, and Seoul made a revised proposal on Saturday seeking Hwang’s attendance, Kim said.
South Korean officials said they expected the North to fire at their loudspeakers near the DMZ.
The United States and South Korea, by coincidence, are also engaged in an annual training exercise along the border area this week. Greater than 240 South Koreans entered a collectively run industrial complicated within the North Korean border metropolis of Kaesong. South Korean forces remained on the highest alert.
The South retaliated by resuming anti-Pyongyang propaganda broadcasts along the border, dealing a blow to one of the sore points for a regime underpinned by the tight control of information.
Authoritarian North Korea, which has additionally restarted its personal propaganda broadcasts, is extraordinarily delicate to any criticism of its authorities.
Thursday’s violence began when North Korea fired shells at South Korean military positions along the western border.
Individuals have been prepared to speak concerning the pressure and, as is widespread in public in North Korea – formally referred to as the Democratic Individuals’s Republic of Korea – they voiced help for his or her authorities’s insurance policies and their chief.
This week’s confrontation helped send South Korean stocks to a two-year low.
The meeting came at the request of North Korean officials in Pyongyang, according to reports.
Said Pyongyang citizen Choe Sin Ae: “I think that the South Korean puppet gangsters should have the clear idea that thousands of our people and soldiers are totally confident in winning at any cost because we have our respected leader with us”.
North Korea resumed its own broadcasts on Monday.
On Thursday, South Korea’s army fired dozens of artillery rounds throughout the border in response to what Seoul stated have been North Korean artillery strikes meant to again up a menace to assault the loudspeakers. No casualties were reported, but it was their most serious clash in five years. On Friday she visited South Korea’s third army headquarters located south of Seoul.