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N Korea proposed military talks with US: report

North Korea last week proposed holding high-ranking military talks with the United States to discuss peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

world Updated: Oct 06, 2008 11:12 IST
Kyodo

North Korea last week proposed holding high-ranking military talks with the United States to discuss peace and security on the Korean Peninsula, a Seoul daily reported on Monday.

The proposal was made during a two-day visit by top US nuclear envoy Christopher Hill to Pyongyang, the Korea Times reported, citing a South Korean diplomatic source.

As for the US demand to establish the verification mechanism of the North's nuclear declaration, North Korea offered a "counterproposal" to Hill, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, asking for a simultaneous verification program for both the North and South, the source said.

South Korea has maintained it would not accept any military talks on peace and security on the peninsula without its participation.

"Military issues between North Korea and the United States cannot be resolved without South Korea's involvement since they are inevitably linked to the establishment of a peace regime on the peninsula," the source said, asking not to be named.

After his trip to the North, Hill said in Seoul his discussions in Pyongyang were "very substantive and lengthy" and he declined to disclose the content of the talks.

Hill said he had met with his North Korean counterpart Kim Kye Gwan, Foreign Minister Park Ui Chun and Lt Gen Ri Chan Bok, the representative of the North's mission to the truce village of Panmunjeom.