North Walks Out on Korea Talks

Refuses to apologize for shelling South, sinking ship
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2011 6:56 AM CST
North Walks Out on Korea Talks
North Korean Army Col. Ri Sun Gyun, left, arrives with other North Korean delegates for a military meeting between the Koreas, at the south side of Panmunjom.   (AP Photo/Defense Ministry)

North Korea packed up its toys and went home today, abruptly ending low-level military talks between the two Koreas in Panmunjom, reports the New York Times. Pressed by Seoul military officials to apologize for shelling Yeonpyeong in November and sinking a warship last March, the North “unilaterally walked away from the table and out of the meeting room,” according to a South Korean official. The talks' failure leaves a giant question mark over the topic of more substantive talks—much less six-party talks about Pyongyang's nuclear program.

The two sides “failed to narrow the differences over the agenda for a high-level meeting,” says a South Korean official, despite talks that ran long yesterday and into today. Pyongyang maintains that the South provoked the island attack, and denies responsibility in the sinking of the Cheonan.
(More North Korea stories.)

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