Friday, 17 November, 2017

South Korea's new government proposes military talks with North Korea

S. Korea seeks rare talks with North to ease military tensions South Korea's new government proposes military talks with North Korea | The Fiscal Times
Melinda Barton | 18 July, 2017, 02:36

Noting that North Korean human rights is a "matter of great concern" for the Moon Jae-in administration, the foreign minister expressed hope the South Korean government will continue to hold discussions with Quintana regarding the issue.

If realized, the talks would be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015.

If the North accepts, it will be the first time since 2015 to hold such talks.

Separately, the Red Cross proposed a meeting on 1 August to discuss the reunion of families separated by the division of the peninsula during the Korean War.

China, which has close ties to Pyongyang despite Beijing's anger over North Korea's missile and nuclear tests, welcomed the proposal, saying cooperation and reconciliation between the two Koreas was good for everyone and could help ease tensions.

Government spokesman Norio Maruyama said North Korea reached "a new level" with its latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile as Americans celebrated Independence Day on July 4.

Moon has said he will use both dialogue and pressure to resolve the standoff over North Korea's nuclear and missile programs.

This computer generated image shows South Korea and North Korea shaking hands.

Outside experts believe the South Korean broadcasts and leaflets sting in Pyongyang more because the authoritarian country worries that the broadcasts will demoralize front-line troops and residents and eventually weaken the grip of absolute leader Kim Jong Un.

It is unclear whether North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un will agree as he "remains suspicious" of his Seoul counterpart and his relationship with the USA, reports ABC news.

North Korea is believed to possess hundreds of missiles capable of striking South Korea and Japan.

A senior official said talks should aim to stop "all hostile activities that raise military tension" at the fortified border between the Koreas. Prospects for talks on family reunions are less good because North Korea has previously demanded that South Korea repatriate some North Korean defectors living in the South before any reunions take place, according to the analysts.

In response to the ICBM test, the United States has circulated a resolution with proposed new sanctions to the other permanent veto-wielding Security Council members - China, Russia, Britain and France - U.N. diplomats said last week.