South asks North to hold military talks this week

Ross Houston
July 18, 2017

South Korea has offered to talk with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.

South Korea has suggested holding a meeting on Friday in the so-called Joint Security Area in the Korean Demilitarised zone, the de-facto border between the two countries, according to Deputy Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk.

Chances for talks on family reunions are slimmer as North Korea has already made it clear that it won't agree to a fresh reunion program unless Seoul returns some of the North Korean defectors living in the South who it says were abducted by South Korean agents.

North Korea's state media didn't immediately respond to South Korea's proposals.

Kim Sun-hyang, acting president of the South's Red Cross, suggested a meeting with its northern counterpart on August 1 at the Peace House, Panmunjom's southern conference building.

The ministers supported South Korea's diplomatic lead and urged North Korea to engage in a "credible and meaningful dialogue" to defuse tensions and denuclearise the peninsula.

Earlier this month, Moon reiterated he is willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if conditions are met.

If the government meeting goes ahead, it will mark the first official inter-Korea talks since December 2015.

The United Kingdom is against any dialogue with North Korea until Pyongyang takes serious steps to scale back its nuclear program, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday.

In this October 22, 2015, file photo, North Korean Son Kwon Geun, center, weeps with his South Korean relatives as he bids farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea. But how? Washington announced a $1 billion plus arms deal with Taiwan and sent a USA warship on a freedom of navigation/right of innocent passage voyage, passing within 12 miles of a Chinese island base in the South China Sea, eliciting strong protests from Beijing, but that's not almost enough to persuade the Chinese to take action to prevent what they themselves say is the risk of events spiraling out of control with catastrophic results that neither of us want.

The trip to Myanmar follows Yun's attendance at the Northeast Asia Cooperation Dialogue in Singapore, where a handful of local businesses have been suspected of helping North Korea entities, CNN reported. He has reached out, apparently unsuccessfully, to North Korea's ally, China, the one nation that can end this threat without massive bloodshed by cutting off all imports to the country with which it shares a land border while we impose a maritime quarantine on its seaports, denying any imports to a nation that relies on imports to survive.

The two Koreas have been divided since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

The agenda for the meeting could include moves to suspend propaganda campaigns operated on both sides of the border for years, Cheong added.

A separated family reunion applicant corrects his information at the headquarters of South Korea's Red Cross in Seoul on Monday.

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