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April 22, 2009

In the first government-to-government talks in over a year, representatives from the two nations were set to discuss business deals tied to the Kaesung Industrial Complex in North Korea, which is run by both nations; however the negotiations promptly ended after the North Korean delegation refused to discuss the release of a detained South Korean worker, saying he was not on the agenda.  The employee of Hyundai Asan Corporation has been accused of criticizing North Korea’s political system and trying to persuade a local worker to defect. 

Question to the Blogosphere:  Do you think the issue of the South Korean workers was important enough to bring to the table at the first meeting between South and North Korea in a year?  Is this an example of how common ground on some issues, such as business and economics, may not lead to the amelioration of relations between two countries with historical hatreds on other issues, such as national security and protection of citizens?  Why do you think the South brought up the issue of the worker? 

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