Seoul proposing military, family reunion talks with Pyongyang

Claudine Rigal
Juillet 17, 2017

An agenda has not been specified for the military meeting, but the Red Cross meeting would be expected to cover ways to resume family reunions with the Chuseok holiday coming up in October.

Earlier this month, Moon reiterated he's willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if conditions are met. Moon also said the two Koreas must halt hostile activities along the border, restart family reunions and cooperate on the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

South Korea's Defense Ministry has asked that the inter-Korean military communication line in the western region be restored, and that North Korea responds to their offer through it.

If realized, the talks would be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015.

Despite the North's aggression and increasingly belligerent responses from Washington, South Korean President Moon Jae In has emphasized the importance of getting Pyongyang back to the negotiating table. 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 U.S. has all military options available against North Korea, the chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, said Friday.

South Korean Minister of Unification Cho Myong-gyon said on Monday the suspension of hostile acts and the reunion of the separated families are "the most urgent issues to ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula and to achieve the inter-Korean cooperation". "They can signal to the other side what they want, what problems or issues they have with the other side", said Daniel Pinkston, a North Korea analyst with Troy University in Seoul.

"The overall content, enumerated under the name of peace, carries confrontational intentions to quash its neighbor while relying on foreign forces", Rodong said, calling for a "fundamental shift in policy and stance" by the South Korean government.

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