Since he assumed office in May, South Korea’s Liberal president has attempted to resume dialogue with Pyongayng.
The offer of talks, the first since South Korea elected President Moon Jae In, came as the Red Cross in Seoul proposed a separate meeting to discuss reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported. 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 yesterday offered to hold rare military talks with North Korea, aiming to ease tensions after Pyongyang tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo Suk said the South’s defense officials are proposing talks at the border village of Panmunjom on Friday to discuss how to end hostile activities along the border.
If realized, the talks would be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015.
Suh called on Pyongyang to restore the military communications line in the western region to send a reply to South Korea’s dialogue overture, expressing anticipation of the DPRK’s positive response. Seoul’s acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang said it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions. Iron ore imports from North Korea surged, with China arguing that the United Nations sanctions resolution allows for trade if the income is used for the livelihood of civilians.
The timing and scope of the US action will depend heavily on how China responds to pressure for tougher steps against North Korea when USA and Chinese officials meet for a high-level economic dialogue in Washington Wednesday, the administration sources told Reuters.
North Korea is believed to possess hundreds of missiles capable of striking South Korea and Japan.
“Trade related to the people’s livelihood in North Korea, especially if it embodies humanitarian principles, should not be affected by sanctions”, said Huang at a separate news briefing.
The armed conflict between both countries ended with a cease-fire in 1953, but no formal peace treaty was ever signed, meaning the neighbouring countries technically remain at war. It is anxious about an influx of refugees and possible U.S. troops stationed on its border in a unified Korea.