S. Korea offers talks on tension, family reunions with North

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 18, 2017

He also explained to his British counterpart the South Korean government's two-track North Korea approach of seeking both sanctions and dialogue, hoping for strategic commutation and cooperation with London on the front.

President Donald Trump and his top aides have signaled growing impatience with China over North Korea.

When Moon visited Washington after being elected president, he and Trump said they were open to renewed dialogue with North Korea but only under circumstances that would lead to Pyongyang giving up its weapons programmes.

South Korea has proposed talks with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume family reunions.

Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk proposed that the two sides meet on Friday at the North's side of the Panmunjeom truce village, hinting that Seoul may be willing to suspend anti-North broadcasts in the demilitarized zone.

President Donald Trump is facing a situation with North Korea "very, very different than it has been for other administrations" given Pyongyang's progress toward developing an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking the US mainland, Petraeus said.

Cho also urged restoration of cross-border military and government hotlines that North Korea cut previous year in response to South Korea's imposition of new economic sanctions after a nuclear test by Pyongyang.

The United States has been trying to get China and Russian Federation to back a new U.N. Security Council resolution imposing stiffer sanctions on North Korea following its latest missile test.

Although some observers expressed optimism that North Korea would accept the offer, Yonhap postulates that North Korea will sabotage negotiations by unreasonably demanding an end to South Korean drills with the United States while refusing to budge on its own nuclear and ICBM programs.

South Korea also proposed separate talks by the rival states' Red Cross organisations to resume a humanitarian project to reunite families separated during the 1950-53 Korean War.

Seoul's proposal for two sets of talks indicates new President Moon Jae-in is pushing to improve ties with Pyongyang, despite the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test earlier this month.

The last such reunions were in October 2015.

He told a briefing Monday for a group of United Nations correspondents that "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless".

"We make the proposal for a meeting. aimed at stopping all hostile activities that escalate military tension along the land border", the Defence Ministry said. South Korea and the USA dispute the claim.

Moon had suggested that "all acts of hostile activities" at the inter-Korean border will be suspended on 27 July, when the two Koreas mark the 64 anniversary of the armistice treaty that ended the Korean War in 1953.

"So far", Elise adds, "the North has not responded to the offer from Seoul".

Previously, Pyongyang has repeatedly said it refuses to engage in all talks with the South unless Seoul turns over 12 waitresses who defected to the South a year ago.

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