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South Korea Proposes Military Talks with North Korea to Ease Tensions

Earlier this month, Moon reiterated he’s willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if conditions are met. Moon also said the two Koreas must halt hostile activities along the border, restart family reunions and cooperate on the 2018 Winter Olympics to be held in Pyeongchang, South Korea. The December 2015 talks at a now-stalled joint factory park in North Korea ended with no breakthroughs.When Moon visited Washington after being elected president, he and Trump said they were open to renewed dialogue with North Korea but only under circumstances that would lead to Pyongyang giving up its weapons programmes.South Korea on Monday offered to hold rare military talks with North Korea on Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom.Suh Choo-suk, South Korea’s vice defense minister, said in a statement that the military talks would be aimed at ceasing all “acts of hostility” near the border line, but did not specify any agenda items nor mention who from South Korea would take part.European Union sanctions against North Korea date back to 2006 and are part of global efforts to halt a nuclear and ballistic missile programme that experts say is meant to give Pyongyang the capability to hit the U.S. mainland.In this October 22, 2015, file photo, North Korean Son Kwon Geun, center, weeps with his South Korean relatives as he bids farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Korea.Norio Maruyama said North Korea has reached “a new level” with its latest launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile “and this is a time to raise pressure in order to be able to conduct a serious dialogue”.But Pyongyang has staged a series of missile launches in violation of United Nations resolutions – most recently on July 4 when it test-fired its first ICBM, a move which triggered global alarm and a push by US President Donald Trump to impose harsher United Nations sanctions.”North Korea should respond to our honest proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula”, Cho Myoung-Gyon, Seoul´s unification minister in charge of North Korea affairs, told reporters.South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions.China, which has close ties to Pyongyang despite its anger over North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, welcomed the proposal, saying cooperation and reconciliation could help ease tensions.The vice defence minister did not elaborate on the meaning of hostile military activities, which varies between the two Koreas.North Korea is believed to possess hundreds of missiles capable of striking South Korea and Japan. -South Korea military drills. Since no truce was agreed, the two sides remain technically at war.He stressed that Seoul “would not seek the collapse of the North or unification through absorbing the North”, and urged Pyongyang to restore cross-border communication channels, including a shuttered military hotline, AFP said.