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North, South Korea Talks Continue

April 18, 1998

BEIJING (AP) _ Talks between the two Koreas broke off Friday over the South’s demand that the famine-stricken North take steps to reunite families in return for aid.

The two sides agreed to meet again Saturday, with the North saying that would be the final session of their first direct talks in four years.

The North has agreed to hold separate talks on reuniting families divided by the 1945 partition of the peninsula. But it has refused to say when the talks would occur, prompting a threat from the South on Friday to withhold much-needed fertilizer.

``We have many things to provide North Korea to ease their agricultural agonies,″ said the South’s negotiator, Deputy Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyun. ``We want to gain something from the North Korean side in return.″

Chun Kum Chun, Jeong’s counterpart from the North, said the fertilizer should be treated as a humanitarian issue without conditions.

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