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Seoul: No conditions for N Korea talks

South Korea has reportedly said that it would no longer demand any preconditions by North Korea for the resumption of nuclear disarmament talks.

A high-ranking government source told JoongAng daily on Friday that Seoul does not seek apology from Pyongyang for the alleged sinking of its ship and shelling of its island in order to get back to the six-party talks.

“Although the Cheonan sinking and the Yeonpyeong Island shelling are both issues close to our hearts, denuclearization is a much more important issue at hand here,” the unnamed source said.

Last year, tension on the Korean Peninsula reached its highest level after South Korean warship Cheonan sank near the inter-Korea maritime border in March, leaving 46 South Korean sailors dead.

Though Seoul accuses Pyongyang of involvement in the sinking of its warship, the latter says that aluminum alloy fragments recovered by South Korea prove that no North Korean torpedo was involved in the maritime accident.

Meanwhile, two South Korean marines and two construction workers were killed on November 23, 2010, after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island.

The attack set more than 60 houses ablaze and sent civilians fleeing in terror.

North Korea said the South had provoked its artillery strike against the island.

Seoul and Pyongyang have already agreed in principle to hold military talks.

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