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North, South Korea Hold First Day Of Peace Talks With U.S., China

A first day of talks that aimed to transform a tense, 44-year truce on the Korean peninsula into a permanent peace adjourned Tuesday with little outward sign of progress.

“Ongoing” was all North Korea’s delegation leader, Kim Kye Gwan, would say when the day of talks ended. Diplomats from South Korea, the United States and China said nothing publicly.

Peace negotiations could drag on for years, and just getting the North and South together in the same room to discuss a permanent peace was considered a major breakthrough. Only an armistice, not a peace treaty, was signed to end the Korean War in 1953.

“The shadow of the Cold War is still hanging over the Korean Peninsula,” China’s vice foreign minister said in an opening speech. “We know for sure that the future course will still be long and difficult,” Tang Jiaxuan said. “Nevertheless, we have already struck a good beginning.”

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