Talks between North and South Korean military officials have collapsed on their second day, after colonels from both sides met in Panmunjom, the ‘truce village’, on Wednesday. A unification ministry official in Seoul told Reuters that the talks were over and that a date had not been set for another meeting. North Korea refused Seoul’s demand that it apologize for the shelling of Yeonpyeong island in November and for the sinking of the Cheonan, a South Korean navy ship last March, according to South Korean media reports. North Korea maintains that it was not involved in the Cheonan, and that the Yeonpyeong shelling was provoked by the South. Prior to Wednesday, relations between the North and South appeared to be improving when both sides agreed to discuss reuniting families separated during the Korean war. North Korea has recently pushed for talks between Red Cross agencies on either side—a move attributed to the North’s concern about the effects of international sanctions and a near-halt to trade with the South, the Guardian reports.
Wednesday, February 9, 2011