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Seoul to propose North to hold working-level talks

   South Korea plans to propose to the North on Wednesday to hold working-level talks next month in order to open the window for their first military talks in five months, government sources said Tuesday.

   "The government plans to officially suggest to North Korea within tomorrow to hold preparatory talks for high-level military talks," a government official said.

   Military talks with the North stalled after the last meeting in September due to the communist country's deadly artillery attack on
a South Korean island in November, for which the North denied responsibility.

   The two divided countries' relations showed signs of thawing as the South accepted a proposal last week from the North to meet over
a series of recent armed provocations blamed on the communist country.

   The working-level preliminary meeting to be proposed on Wednesday will be used for setting the date and location as well as rank-levels of attendees of the meeting, according to the sources.

   The preparatory talks are expected to take place sometime around Feb. 11 at the truce village of Panmunjom, inside the Demilitarized Zone that separates the two Koreas.

   (Yonhap News)