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DPRK, UNC hold military talks over tension reduction
Updated: 2009-03-06 15:06

SEOUL -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the US-led United Nations Command (UNC) are holding general-level talks Friday morning to discuss measures to ease mounting tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

It was the second such high-level military talks between DPRK and the UNC in a week.

The UNC has not provided further information about the ongoing talks so far.

According to South Korean military, the DPRK side urged the United States and South Korea to cancel their upcoming annual joint military exercise of Key Resolve set for March 9-20 during the previous general-level talks on Monday.

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However, the US Force announced on Thursday to conduct the exercise on time with about 26,000 US troops to participate into the drill in South Korea.

The DPRK warned Thursday afternoon that it would not guarantee the security of South Korean civilian airplanes flying over its eastern waters in response, saying they "don't know what kind of military clashes may occur due to the joint war exercise."

"We declare that we can no more assure the safety of South Korean passenger flights over our territory," Yonhap quoted a DPRK committee as saying.

South Korea's two major airline companies, the Korean Air and the Asiana Airlines, announced late Thursday that they have ordered planes using the Kamchatka route that briefly use DPRK airspace to change course as a safety measure.

The South Korean Unification Ministry said on Friday that DPRK's latest warning over passenger flights is "inhumane act."

"To militarily threaten the normal operations of civil airplanes not only violates international rules but is also an inhumane act that can never be justified," said Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Ho-nyoun.