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Koreas Fail to Reach Agreement at Military Talks


Two-day military talks between North and South Korea aimed at solving maritime disputes have ended without agreement. These were the highest-level military talks between the two countries in two years.

The high-level talks ended without an agreement Friday, as a result of North Korea's demand for the drawing of a new border in the Yellow Sea.

Kun Young Park, professor for international relations at the Catholic University of South Korea, says North Korea does not recognize the so-called Northern Limit Line, or NLL.

"North Korea believes (the) northern limit line - NLL - should be renegotiated because it was unilaterally claimed by the United Nations' command during the Korean War. It was not negotiated by both parties to the war," professor Kun said.

Kun says South Korea is not willing to renegotiate the sea border.

The two-day talks had focused mainly on ways to prevent skirmishes between naval and fishing boats around the disputed Yellow Sea border, west of South Korea.

The North and South Korean navies have clashed twice near the border in the last seven years, resulting in casualties on both sides. Fishing fleets from the two countries have also been involved in skirmishes.

South Korea has proposed setting up a joint fishing zone in the disputed area to ease tensions.

The military talks were held in the border village of Panmunjom in the heavily fortified demilitarized zone that separates the two countries.

They were the first such talks since North Korea broke off senior-level military discussions two years ago, in protest over Seoul's helping North Koreans defect to the South. No date has been set for further negotiations.

The two Koreas are still technically at war because the Korean War ended with a cease-fire in 1953, not a peace treaty, but relations have improved since their leaders met for the first time in 2000.