Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beijing welcomes inter-Korean talks (AFP)

Beijing welcomes inter-Korean talks (AFP)*

21 JANUARY 2011

BEIJING (AFP) – Beijing has welcomed proposed talks between military officers from North and South Korea, the first since a deadly artillery attack sent relations on the peninsula into a tailspin.

"We welcome and support the move by North Korea and South Korea to improve their relations through dialogue, moving towards reconciliation and cooperation," said foreign affairs spokesman Hong Lei, according to a posting on the ministry's website.

"We hope this dialogue will bring about a positive result."

Relations between Seoul and Pyongyang became increasingly fraught during 2010, marked by the sinking of a South Korean warship with the loss of 46 sailors in March and the deadly shelling of a border island in November.

But since the beginning of the year, North Korea has made a series of overtures to the South, and on Thursday Seoul said it would accept an offer of high level military talks.

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