Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

  • Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

South Korea Monday offered to hold rare military talks with North Korea, aiming to ease tensions after Pyongyang tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

South Korea proposed military talks with North Korea, the first since 21015, and a halt to hostile activities near the inter-Korean border, the South's vice defence minister said on Monday (July 17), after a series of missile tests by the North in recent weeks. South Korea's Red Cross said on Monday, July 17, 2017, it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions.

South Korea on Monday offered to hold military discussions with North Korea for the first time in almost three years in an effort to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. But the South's then-president, Park Geun-hye, a conservative who has since been impeached and removed from office, rejected the offer, calling it insincere and demanding that the North first move toward dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea did not immediately respond. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago". North Korea says the South abducted the 12 waitresses and the restaurant manager and has demanded their return, but the South has said the group chose to defect of its own free will. -South Korea military drills.

In addition to the potential reopening military talks, the South Korean Red Cross on Monday proposed talks with Pyongyang to once again organise reunions of families who were separated during the Korean War (1950-1953). The last such talks were held in December 2015.

Numerous estimated 60,000 South Koreans that have signed up to participate in these sporadically held inter-Korean reunions are elderly and have had virtually no contact with relatives living in the repressive North where contact with the outside world is highly restricted.

"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 in a statement.

North Korea will likely accept Moon's proposed talks on easing border animosities, as it's something that it's previously called for.

The two Koreas restarted Cold War-era psychological warfare after the North's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

"We hope that North and South Korea can work hard to go in a positive direction and create conditions to break the deadlock and resume dialogue and consultation", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing.

If Seoul's offer is accepted by Pyongyang, it would be the first meeting of the two countries' military authorities since October 2014.

The reunions are a highly emotional issue because most applicants are in their 70s or 80s and are desperate to see their loved ones before they die.

The South pointed out that she came here at her own decision and there's no legal ground to send her back, while the North says she has changed her mind to return to the North.