Friday, 22 February, 2019

South Korea proposes rare military talks with North at Panmunjom

Melinda Barton | 18 July, 2017, 07:24

South Korea has proposed holding talks with North Korea, the first government-level discussions since late 2015.

He said Russian Federation also has "an extremely important role to play in dealing with the North Korean problem and we will encourage Russian Federation to play some even greater role".

Moon has said he would use both dialogues and pressures to resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear program.

It conducted the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) earlier this month, claiming to be able to reach mainland America should it so wish.

Tongilgak is a North Korean building in the village of Panmunjom, which straddles the demarcation line that divides the countries.

The Red Cross has also proposed a meeting to try to revive the meetings between Korean families separated since the War (1950-1953). Seoul suggested that the talks between representatives of the two countries' armies be held at the Demilitarized Zone, which separates the two foes on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has overseen two two nuclear tests since the beginning of a year ago and numerous missile-related activities.

"So far", Elise adds, "the North has not responded to the offer from Seoul".

The move comes after Seoul indicated the need for dialogue with the North was more pressing than ever to curb Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions. But his push has reported little progress with the North test-firing a series of newly developed missiles since Moon's May 10 inauguration.

"The fact that we wish to take on a leading role in resolving this (North Korean) issue has already been understood at the summit with the United States and the G-20 summit meetings", Cho said on Monday.

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

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

"I deeply agree with President Moon's direction for the future relations of the two Koreas", said Archbishop Hyginus Kim Hee-joong of Gwangju, conference president.

The sporadically held reunions last took place at a mountain resort in North Korea in October 2015, when hundreds of elderly Koreans and their family members met their long-lost relatives for the first time since they were split during the Korean War.

In an act to rein in the North, the United States is preparing new sanctions on Chinese banks and firms doing business with Pyongyang possibly within weeks, two senior U.S. officials said last week.