Inter-Korean talks end without agreementUpdated: 2014-02-13 11:56:55 (KST)
After nearly 14 hours of negotiations, South Korean chief delegate Kim Kyou-hyun and his North Korean counterpart Won Dong-yon called it a day without reaching an agreement.
South Korea's Unification Ministry said the upcoming family reunions and the joint military drills between Seoul and Washington were the most pressing issues at Wednesday's high-level inter-Korean talks.
The Koreas are scheduled to resume reunions for families separated by the Korean War from February 20th to the 25th, for the first time in over three years.
Pyongyang had threatened to call off the plan, if Seoul went ahead with its joint military drills with Washington at the end of this month.
At Wednesday's meeting, South Korea stressed the reunion event must be held as planned, since it could serve as a first step in improving inter-Korean ties.
The North, on the other hand, urged Seoul to postpone the upcoming Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises to some time after the reunions.
South Korea did not take the offer, sticking to its principle that humanitarian issues and military drills be dealt with separately.
South Korea and the U.S. say the drills are defensive in nature, but the North views them as a practice for war.
An official at the unification ministry said the family reunions may be put on hold, if the North continues to link the event with the military exercises.
The two Koreas agreed to hold additional discussions down the road, but did not fix a date.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
We're getting reports now that, during Wednesday's talks, North Korea agreed to the upcoming inter-Korean family reunions from the 20th to the 25th.
Pyongyang, however, added it will not take part on the final two days of the six-day event because it overlaps with Seoul's joint military drills with Washington.
We'll bring you more details as they come in.
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