Feb. 12 - North and South Korea hold their first high-level talks in seven years, exploring ways to improve ties while the South and the United States gear up for large-scale military drills. Rough Cut (No Reporter Narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: North and South Korea held their first high-level talks in seven years on their armed border on Wednesday (February 12), looking at ways to improve ties while the South and the United States geared up for large-scale military drills that have angered Pyongyang. The meeting was set up with unusual speed and great secrecy at the North's suggestion last week, the latest example of conflicting signals coming from Pyongyang that included an abrupt cancellation of an invitation for a U.S. envoy to visit. The North is likely to repeat its demand for the South and the United States to scrap the military drills, due to start later this month, but both sides have plenty of incentives to seek a deal that could break their long stalemate. In the video provided by the South Korean Unification Ministry, North Korean delegation walked across the demarcation line to meet South Korean counterpart at the South Korean side of Panmunjom, Peace House. North Korea has sent the second-highest ranking official in the ruling Workers' Party department charged with ties with the South. The South Korean delegation is led by President Park Geun-hye's deputy national security adviser. The two sides wrapped up a morning session but there was no word on what was discussed in the closed-door meeting at the Panmunjom truce village on the border. The meeting comes a week before the two sides are scheduled to hold reunions of family members separated since the 1950-53 Korean War at the Mount Kumgang resort just inside the North, which is considered a major humanitarian event by the South. However, the North has threatened to cancel the reunions, citing a sortie last week by a nuclear-capable U.S. B-52 bomber near the Korean peninsula. The North has also called for the cancellation of the annual military drills by the South and the United States, calling them a rehearsal for war despite repeated assertions by Seoul and Washington that the drills are routine and defensive.