Military talks aimed at easing high tensions between North and South Korea collapsed Wednesday when the North’s delegation walked out, Seoul’s defence ministry said. It was the first cross-border dialogue since the North’s deadly shelling of a South Korean island on November 23, which briefly sparked fears of war.
A ministry spokesman told AFP the North’s negotiators crossed the borderline 10 minutes after walking out of the meeting. “They even failed to discuss when to meet again,” he said. “Under the current situation, we can say the talks have collapsed.” The spokesman said he had no immediate details of the cause of the breakdown. The South had been demanding an apology for two border incidents last year which killed 50 South Koreans.
Four people including civilians died in the shelling of Yeonpyeong island near the disputed Yellow Sea border. The South also accuses the North of torpedoing a warship last March with the loss of 46 lives, a charge it denies.