South Korea proposes talks with Pyongyang

17 July, 2017, 20:41 | Author: Ora Austin
  • South Korea proposes talks with Pyongyang

Moon's government proposed two sets of talks to discuss how to dial down tensions and resume reunions of aging Koreans separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Seoul offered the talks on humanitarian issues to be held on August 1 in the Peace House, a building in the South Korean side of Panmunjom.

The South's Defense Ministry on Monday proposed the meeting to be held on Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom, which also hosted the last such negotiations in December 2015. Both sides moved to take down loudspeakers and halt all propaganda broadcasts after the agreement, but the broadcasts were resumed under the Park Geun-hye administration in January 2016 following North Korea's fourth nuclear test. Ever since, cross-border tensions have been rising following Pyongyang's relentless missile and nuclear activities.

The Red Cross said it hoped for "a positive response" from its counterpart in the North in hopes of holding family reunions in early October.

If the talks are held, loudspeaker broadcasts, leafleting and South Korea-U.S. drills are expected to top the agenda.

The majority have died without having had the opportunity to review.

The meetings of the families had begun in earnest after a historic summit in the North/South in 2000.

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In a speech on July 6, President Moon said his government would push for a peace treaty with North Korea, as part of a comprehensive solution to the crisis over the North's nuclear weapons program.

Seoul's defense minister has requested talks with Pyongyang later this week, and is asking the North to stop all hostile activities in the area.

But so far the Kim Jong Un government has rejected most of these overtures.

The relations, however, have only gone downhill since then, with Pyongyang continuing nuclear and missile provocations. In 2015, her government deported a South Korean-born American citizen who had spoken warmly about her trips to North Korea in public appearances and articles in South Korea.

This test, which is closer to Pyongyang of its objective, which is to be in a position to threaten the u.s. territory of the nuclear fire, has led to strong condemnations around the world and new efforts from the White House to toughen the global sanctions. The aim is to cease "all acts of hostility that heighten tension around the Military Demarcation Line" starting July 27, the 64th anniversary of the armistice.

"It would at least help let off some steam out of the current crisis, although the North would still maintain that it would not give up its weapons programmes", he said. Moon's two conservative predecessors suspended large aid shipments and major cooperation projects, and cross-border communication hotlines have been shut down.

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