Koreas work to ensure peace on Korean peninsula

North and South Korea pledged Friday to work to ensure peace and reduce military tensions on their divided peninsula.

Concluding Cabinet-level talks in the North Korean capital, the two sides "agreed to make efforts to ensure solid peace on the Korean Peninsula and actively seek practical ways to ease military tension," the statement said.

"The South and the North shared an understanding that military talks should be held and agreed to recommend this to their respective military authorities," the statement said.

The two sides also agreed to stage more reunions of families separated since the 1950-53 Korean War and hold their next round of ministerial talks on South Korea's Jeju Island on Dec. 13-16, according to the statement, released in Pyongyang.

The two Koreas remain technically at war because their conflict in the 1950s ended with a truce rather than a peace treaty, but exchanges have flourished since a historic meeting between their leaders in 2000, the AP reminds.

They also agreed to continue talks by their respective Red Cross societies aimed at determining the fate of southern prisoners from the Korea War that the South says are still held in the North.

The Cabinet-level talks, the highest-level regular contacts between the divided states, have been overshadowed by six-nation negotiations under way in Beijing aimed at getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.

South Korea has used the bilateral talks this week to urge the communist North to compromise with the United States to resolve the nuclear issue.

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