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Senior officials from South Korea (R) and North Korea (L)

Top-level North and South Korean negotiators talked through the night with no sign of an agreement Monday for ending a military standoff that has threatened to boil over into armed conflict.

After a 10-hour marathon the previous night, the talks passed the 19-hour mark in a second session in the border truce village of Panmunjom, where the 1950-53 Korean War ceasefire was signed.

The second round was clouded by South Korean claims that the North was seeking to influence the negotiating process with provocative military movements.

South Korea’s defense ministry said the North had doubled its artillery units at the border and deployed two-thirds of its total submarine fleet — around 50 vessels — outside their bases.

The ministry added it was also closely monitoring the movement of North Korean landing craft, following a Yonhap report that the North has deployed about 10 air-cushioned amphibious landing craft carrying special forces to a naval base about 60 km north of the Northern Limit Line, the maritime boundary in the Yellow Sea recognized by the South. (AFP)