S. Korea presses North on nuclear disarmament

South Korea pressed North Korea on Wednesday to follow through on its pledge to start dismantling its nuclear program, as the two Koreas held their first high-level talks since the North's atomic test in October. North Korea proposed that the two countries resume economic cooperation talks in March, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency and pool reports from South Korean journalists covering the meetings in Pyongyang. The North's proposal is believed to be mainly aimed at obtaining fertilizer, rice and other economic assistance from the South. South Korean aid has propped up North Korea's frail economy. But inter-Korean reconciliation efforts were brought to a standstill after North Korea test-launched a series of missiles last July. Their relations soured further over the North's denotation of a nuclear device in October. This week's Cabinet-level talks, the highest-level regular contacts between the Koreas, are the first in seven months. They follow North Korea's pledge in international talks on February 13 to shutter its main nuclear reactor within 60 days in exchange for aid.