North and South Korea conduct military talks

North and South Korea opened high-level military talks Thursday for the first time in almost two years, seeking to reduce tension along the world's most heavily fortified border and find ways to prevent accidental naval skirmishes. Two-star generals from the rival Koreas began a meeting at the border truce village of Panmunjeom at 10 a.m., an official at the Inter-Korean Dialogue Office said on condition of anonymity, citing customary policy. The two-day talks are the first inter-Korean meetings among generals since June 2004. The talks had originally been set to take place between one-star generals. But the North last week requested that the rank of the head delegates be upgraded to two-star officers - making the talks the highest-ranking military contact between the North and South since the Korean War.