South Korea offers to hold military talk with North

The negotiations are expected on July 21

10:03, 17 July 2017

Open source

South Korea offered Monday to talk with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s, Reuters reported

The South Korean defense ministry proposed talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all activities that fuel tension at the military demarcation line.

Tongilgak is a North Korean building at the Panmunjom truce village on the border used for previous inter-Korea talks. The last such talks were held in December 2015.

Related: China says it has ‘zero contact’ with North Korea in military sphere

It's unclear if North Korea would agree to the proposed talks as it remains suspicious of the South Korean president's overtures, seeing the new leader's more liberal policy as still resorting to the United States to force North Korea to disarm.

Seoul's proposal for two sets of talks indicates President Moon Jae-in is pushing to improve ties with Pyongyang despite the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile this month.

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. Seoul's acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang said it wants separate talks at the border village on Aug. 1 to discuss family reunions.

North Korea's state media hasn't immediately responded to South Korea's overtures.

Related: North Korea launches ballistic missile in Japan’s direction

As it was reported earlier, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said he was ready for a dialogue with North Korea despite the "nuclear provocation" of its test-launch earlier this week of what the isolated state said was a nuclear-capable intercontinental missile.

 

Related: U.S. patience for North Korea over, Trump says