ROK, DPRK hold second round of volcano talks

Updated: 2011-04-12 11:25


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SEOUL -- The Republc of Korea (ROK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) met Tuesday for another round of talks over joint research into volcanic activities at the highest mountain on the peninsula, a move observers say can serve as an icebreaker in frozen ties.

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Experts from both sides of the border met in the DPRK border town of Kaesong to further discuss a possibility of volcanic eruptions of Mount Paekdu, the 2,750-meter mountain considered sacred by both Koreas.

Signifying a potential thaw in inter-Korean relations chilled by military tension, the rare volcano talks were proposed by Pyongyang amid rising concern following the devastating earthquake and tsunami that ravaged neighboring Japan.

At the previous round of talks on March 29, held in the ROK border city of Munsan, the representatives agreed to the need for joint research on threats of a potential volcanic eruption.

The mountain, which sits on the DPRK border with China, last erupted in 1903 and has since been inactive, but experts have warned it might have an active core and a potential eruption would create a greater chaos than the Icelandic volcanic eruption last year.


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