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South Korea, DPRK begin emergency talks to settle conflict

August 22, 2015, 12:28 UTC+3
The situation on the Korean peninsula deteriorated seriously on Thursday after the North and South exchanged artillery fire in the western part of the Demilitarized Zone
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© AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon

SEOUL, August 22. /TASS/. Representatives of South Korea and the DPRK began in Panmunjom emergency talks on settlement of the current crisis. The meeting is organised in the two-plus-two format, South Korea's government said on Saturday.

An hour ago expired the term of ultimatum from DPRK, where it demanded South Korea dismantled loudspeakers at the border and stopped its propaganda broadcast. Seoul has not met the demand, and its defence ministry declared the country would continue the broadcast despite the talks.

On August 19, North Korea sent a letter to the UN Security Council requesting to convene an urgent meeting amid the US-South Korean military exercises that Pyongyang says pose a threat to the international peace and security.

Diplomats say so far no UN Security Council meetings have been scheduled.

The situation on the Korean peninsula deteriorated seriously on Thursday after the North and South exchanged artillery fire in the western part of the Demilitarized Zone. Seoul claims the North was the first to open fire and the artillery shelling was aimed at the South’s propaganda loudspeakers installed nearby. Pyongyang rejects the allegations.

On August 20, North Korea forwarded an ultimatum to South Korea to stop broadcasting propaganda through loudspeakers, to dismantle the equipment within next 48 hours and threatened military action otherwise. The deadline expires on Saturday. Seoul declared it would not meet Pyongyang’s demands.

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