S. Korea Offers to Hold Talks With North

Associated Press

The United States announced today that the government of South Korea has proposed a "far-reaching" initiative to break the deadlock in its talks with the Communist government of North Korea.

The State Department said the Seoul government has proposed holding an open-agenda meeting of the two sides' foreign ministers "to discuss a broad range of issues of mutual concern."

The economic and parliamentary talks between the two, conducted under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross, have been suspended for 1 1/2 years. Several previous attempts by both sides failed to break the impasse.

State Department spokesman Charles Redman did not spell out what the Seoul government was proposing to discuss but said the United States urged North Korea to accept the offer.

Redman said the foreign ministers' meeting "would afford both sides an opportunity to chart the future course of North-South dialogue."

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