SKorea calls on North for ''understandable'' explanation of

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Seoul, Jan 25 (Kyodo) South Korean foreign minister KimSung Hwan called on North Korea on Tuesday to make an"understandable" explanation of two attacks on the South lastyear, before returning to the six-party talks on the North''sdenuclearisation.

"(The North''s explanations) must be understandable to ourpeople," Kim told a press briefing.

Kim was asked if the South was sticking to its positionthe North should admit to the two "provocations" and apologisefor the attacks before resuming the aid-for-disarmamentnuclear talks.

The "provocations" refer to the sinking of a South Koreanwarship in March in a torpedo attack, which the North says wasnot its doing, and the artillery shelling of a border islandin November.

In a major breakthrough, the South has accepted a NorthKorean offer made by the North''s minister of the people''sarmed forces to hold high-level military talks to "presentviews" on the attacks and try to "reduce military tension" onthe Korean Peninsula.

The two sides are to hold a preparatory round of militarytalks before holding the high-level talks.

South Korea has demanded the North apologise for lastyear''s attacks and pledge to prevent any others.

The six-party talks, involving the two Koreas, the UnitedStates, China, Japan and Russia, have been in hiatus fornearly two years. (Kyodo)

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