South Korea offers talks on tensions and family reunions with North

The two sides technically remain at war but Moon, who came to power in May, has pledged to engage the North in dialogue as well as bring pressure to impede its nuclear and missile programs.

The Korean Red Cross proposed to start meetings for the reunion of separated families Monday morning, saying that it’s a humanitarian issue that comes before politics.

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.

“We will continue to strictly and earnestly implement the North Korea-related Security Council resolution in its entirety”, said Geng at a regular news briefing.

“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.

Earlier this month, Mr Moon reiterated he is willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if conditions are met. The last such talks were held in December 2015.

The vice defence minister did not elaborate on the meaning of hostile military activities, which varies between the two Koreas.

The sanctions are meant to apply meaningful pressure on a government which is all but single-handedly propping up a regime that threatens South Korea, Japan, and the United States with nuclear destruction.

BEIJING (AP) – China defended Thursday its purchase of iron ore from North Korea following criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump and said it is “strictly and earnestly” complying with United Nations sanctions. -South Korea military drills. But it remains to be seen whether the North will accept the proposal as it’s still demanding South Korea repatriate twelve female North Koreans who defected to the South past year.

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 previous year after leaving a restaurant run by the North in China. Since then, no dialogue has been held as the DPRK conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests in January and September past year and carried out a number of ballistic missile test-launches.

Local media speculations said the DPRK would accept the military talks with South Korea, rather than the dialogue offer for reunion of divided families, to stop propaganda broadcasts in frontline units of South Korea and anti-DPRK leaflets scattered by South Korean civic group activists toward the DPRK.

China insisted Thursday it was abiding by UN sanctions on North Korea despite a jump in its trade with the nuclear-armed nation that comes amid growing U.S. calls for Beijing to rein in its neighbour.