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Pyongyang, Seoul trade blame for recent escalation in tension


Seoul – A third day of talks aimed at defusing tensions between the Koreas was held Monday, following recent exchanges of artillery fire and threats of war.

South Korean President, Park Heun Hye, told advisors that the North must apologise for the recent border incidents before Seoul would consider silencing propaganda loudspeakers that were switched on last week.
Seoul has said the speakers were switched on for the first time in 11 years in retaliation for land mines laid by North Korean forces that blew the legs off two South Korean troops.

With little apparent progress in the talks, Pyongyang said the South fabricated the mine incident as an excuse for warmongering.
“The puppets’ confrontational mental illness has completely reached the late stage,” it said.
The tension escalated with an exchange of dozens of artillery shells across the border on Thursday.

About 50 of North Korea’s estimated 70 submarines were out of their bases, with their locations unknown, local media report cited a South Korean military official as saying.
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The artillery deployed on the North’s side of the border had been doubled, it said.

The report also said North Korea military had mobilised around 20 hovercraft around the western maritime border, citing unnamed military sources.

Kim Kwan Jin, South Korea’s national security adviser, and Hwang Pyong So, the North Korean military’s highest political officer, are meeting at the border village of Panmunjom, South Korean presidential spokesman, Min Kyung Wook, said.

Hwang is considered a close confidante of the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

Hong Yong Pyo, South Korea’s Unification Minister, and Kim Yang Gon, his North Korean equivalent and a senior member of the ruling party, were also taking part in the meeting. (dpa/NAN)

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