South Korea Proposes Military Talks With North at Their Border


The overtures came after South Korean President Moon Moon Jae-in, who took office on May 10, proposed a peace initiative on the Korean Peninsula in Germany earlier this month. The stakes have risen for Trump after North Korea's first successful test July 4 of a missile that could reach Alaska, if not continental America. But Moon's overture, the first formal offer of talks since his inauguration in May, indicates he wants to use dialogue to defuse the worldwide standoff over North Korea's weapons programs, despite having condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4 and vowed a firm response.

North and South Korea never officially signed a peace treaty, merely an armistice agreement to bring an end to the Korean War in 1953.

Separately, the Red Cross raised the possibility of a meeting with its North Korean counterpart on August 1 to discuss possible family reunions to coincide with shared holidays October 4.

The last inter-Korean governmental talks were held in 2015.

Mr Cho also urged the restoration of military and government hotlines across the border, which had been cut by the North past year in response to the South imposing economic sanctions after a nuclear test by Pyongyang.

South Korean army soldiers pass by military vehicles deployed in the Korean War era at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 17, 2017. South Korea offered Monday to talk with North Korea to.

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With North Korea pushing to expand its nuclear and missile arsenals, relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in decades.

South Korea's Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk talking to media said that meeting could be held at Tongilgak, which was earlier used to hold previous talks.

Washington has also called on China, the North's sole ally, to put more pressure on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear ambitions, which have advanced rapidly under the North's leader, Kim Jong-un.

"If South and North Korea sit face-to-face, we will be able to have a heart-to-heart discussion over mutual interests".

Previously, Pyongyang has repeatedly said it refuses to engage in talks with the South unless Seoul turns over 12 waitresses who defected to the South a year ago. The North cut communication across the MDL after the South had imposed economic sanctions in response to a northern nuclear test in 2016.

If the meeting is to take place as planned, it would be the first dialogue between the military authorities of the two sides in nearly three years; their previous meeting was held on October 15, 2014.