SEOUL (AFP) – North and South Korea held senior-level military talks on Wednesday to air grievances over a series of recent live-fire incidents on their land and maritime borders, Seoul’s defence ministry said.
Government officials and officers up to the rank of general met for five hours at the border truce village of Panmunjom in what media reports described as the highest-level military exchange between the two rivals for seven years.
The talks followed a rare incident Friday on the heavily-fortified land border, in which both sides traded heavy machine-gun fire after the North’s military tried to shoot down some leaflet-laden balloons launched by South Korean anti-Pyongyang activists. There were no reported casualties.
Last Tuesday, North and South Korean naval patrol boats briefly exchanged warning fire near their disputed Yellow Sea border, which has been the site of numerous clashes in the past.
Briefing reporters, defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok said the North side at the talks had accused South Korean vessels of making incursions into their territorial waters, and urged Seoul to prevent further propaganda balloon launches.