June 15 (UPI) — Working-level military talks at Panmunjom between North and South Korea became protracted and a North Korean lieutenant general made the abrupt suggestion to not have similar conversations in the future, according to a South Korean press report.
EDaily reported Friday that during Thursday’s meeting at the truce village, North Korean Lt. Gen. An Ik San said he did not want to have talks, in response to a meeting that failed to reach a specific consensus on hot-button issues involving the armed forces.
“Let’s not hold this kind of conversation again, I mean the military. We started today to create a dialogue culture in the areas of speed, questions and content, but this is unfortunate. I understand the circumstances of your side, but in the future let’s be better prepared and make sure this does not happen again.”
In response, South Korean Maj. Gen. Kim Do-gyun defended the talks and said they were a “meaningful time” that confirmed the position of both sides.
But, according to the transcript released at the site, the South Korean general also did not push back, in response to North Korean retorts.
An also told Seoul unification ministry official Hwang Jung-joo to “do a better job of directing” talks in the future.
Hwang laughed and said “Yes,” in response to the scolding from the North Korean military official, according to the transcript.
The meeting at Panmunjom was likely prolonged owing to disagreements over a disputed maritime border and joint U.S.-South Korea exercises, according to EDaily.
In separate meetings, North and South Korea are increasing civic exchange in sports.
Yonhap reported Monday the two sides will meet at Peace House on the South side of Panmunjom on Monday to discuss co-participation in the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta.
During his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27, Kim Jong Un proposed an inter-Korea basketball team, according to the report.
The Asian Games will be held in August and September.