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Two Koreas to Hold Military Talks


North and South Korea have agreed to hold military talks to discuss unsettled issues, including improving military hotlines between the two nations.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said in a statement Saturday the talks will be held Monday morning on the west coast near the border city of Paju.

The North proposed Friday that officer-level talks be held about improving telecommunications lines between the two sides.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency says the two countries have nine military hotlines, but one is currently out of service because of technical problems.

The meeting will be the second this month. All other contacts between the two Koreas have been essentially frozen for most of the year.

When military officers met briefly earlier this month, North Korean officials demanded that the South stop civic groups from sending anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border by balloon. Those were the first formal talks between the two countries since January.

Relations between North and South Korea have been tense since conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office in February. Mr. Lee promised to take a tougher stance with the North.

Tensions were further aggravated by the July shooting death of a South Korean tourist by North Korean soldiers at a mountain resort.

North and South Korea have been technically in a state of war since their three-year conflict ended with a truce, and not a peace deal, in 1953.

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