Korea's proposal for inter-Korean talks

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 18, 2017

South Korea has called on North Korea to take part in military talks at the border in an ongoing effort by President Moon in Seoul to reduce tension by engaging in diplomatic dialogue with Kim Jong-un.

Asked whether Seoul was open to talks on halting joint military drills with the United States, which Pyongyang has persistently demanded in the past, Cho said only that the two Koreas would "freely discuss matters of mutual interest".

Cho added that the South did not engage in any back-channel dialogue with the North before making the proposals.

After the North announced the successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, Harris said it is getting "closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-equipped missile" to the USA mainland.

Moon has said he will use both dialogue and pressure to resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

"The Ministry of National Defense proposes inter-Korean military talks at Panmunjom on July 21st at the North Korean building of Tongilgak".

The South Korean defense ministry did not clarify what would be on the agenda or what officials would be in attendance at the meeting, "apparently for some flexibility", the news agency Yonhap reports. In all, the North has conducted five nuclear tests and numerous missile tests. South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago".

Moon suggested earlier this month hostile military activities at the border be ended on July 27, the anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.

The U.S. has all military options available against North Korea, the chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, said Friday.

Moon's four-point peace vision, described in a speech on July 6 at the Koerber Foundation in Berlin, during his trip to Germany for the Group of 20 summit, included the ease of military tensions near the inter-Korean border, a reunion of families separated by the Korean War, North Korea's participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and inter-Korean dialogue.

Washington has also been pushing to impose fresh sanctions on Pyongyang by drawing up a U.N. Security Council resolution and targeting foreign firms doing business with the North.

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