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North and South Korea hold marathon talks in a bid to end standoff

Official representatives from South Korea and North Korea held marathon talks overnight into Monday morning in a bid to ease tensions that resulted in an exchange of military fire across the border.

The unusually long meeting began at the Panmunjom truce village inside the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on Saturday evening, broke at dawn on Sunday, and resumed in the afternoon before continuing through the night into Monday morning.

Both countries are on high alert and are talking tough after the latest crisis was triggered by the South restarting the broadcasting of propaganda messages near the border with the North.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye demanded on Monday that North Korea apologize over recent landmine blasts, and said that the anti-North propaganda broadcasts would continue unless the North took full responsibility for landmine explosions that maimed two Southern soldiers in the DMZ earlier this month.

Pyongyang denies that it laid the landmines, the two countries have remained in a technical state of war since the initial 1950-53 Korean war ended in a truce rather than a peace treaty.

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