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Inter-Korean talks delayed as two sides disagree on format

SOUTH Korean spokesman said today that inter-Korean talks to be held in the day were delayed as South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had disputes over how the meeting should proceed.

After crossing the military demarcation line at around 8:45am local time (2345 GMT Monday), the South Korean delegation was yet to meet their DPRK counterparts, according to Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyoun.

The spokesman said that the South Korean government contacted the DPRK's liaison officers twice before noon in the Kaesong Industrial Complex, but could not narrow their stances on the format of the main talks.

Also, the two sides have chosen different places for the talks, with the DPRK insisting on meeting inside the administrative office in Kaesong, but the South Korean delegation protested against it, the spokesman said.

The DPRK also refused to disclose the list of the members to attend the talks, which South Korea requested, the spokesman said.

Consultations are still under way, the spokesman was quoted as saying to reporters.

The DPRK offered last week to hold government-level talks, first since South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office, over the Kaesong complex, saying it had an "important message" to deliver to the South Korea.

The South Korean delegation was to return to its territory at 5:00pm local time (0800 GMT), but the schedule may be flexible, depending on how the current situation turns out, local news channel YTN said.


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