SEOUL, South Korea — The leaders of the governing party and the main opposition party agreed today on a political timetable that calls for holding South Korea's first direct presidential election by Dec. 20.
In 2 1/2 hours of talks, Democratic Justice Party President Roh Tae Woo and opposition leader Kim Young Sam of the Reunification Democratic Party also said widespread labor unrest should be settled without government intervention. It was the first time the two leaders met for official talks.
Roh and Kim failed to reach agreement on opposition demands for the release of all political prisoners. The opposition says 400 people are being held for political reasons.
Spokesmen for both parties appeared satisfied with the outcome of today's talks at the National Assembly. Agreement on a timetable is considered vital for ensuring elections and a smooth transition of power early next year.