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Korean Talks Held After Delay Over Format


South and North Korean representatives have met for just 22 minutes in their first formal (government-to-government) talks in over a year.

South Korea's Unification Ministry announced that the two Koreas held talks late Tuesday local time after a delay of about 12 hours.

The ministry announced earlier that disagreement over the format pushed back the start of talks.

Further details on the disagreement or the subject of the talks were not immediately available.

South Korea's delegation arrived at the two countries' joint industrial complex in North Korea early Tuesday for the talks.

Pyongyang proposed the talks last week, saying only that it had an important announcement to make about the Kaesong complex, which opened as a joint venture between the two countries in 2005.

Another topic may have been the fate of a South Korean worker who was detained by Pyongyang last month for allegedly criticizing the communist regime.

The Kaesong industrial park is the last remaining reconciliatory venture between the two Koreas.

North Korea cut official contact with the South and restricted border crossings when President Lee Myung-bak took office in February 2008 with a tougher stance on the North.

Tensions escalated earlier this month after North Korea launched a rocket, a move condemned by the United Nations. Pyongyang responded by expelling nuclear inspectors and withdrawing from six-nation disarmament talks.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP.

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