Seoul proposes to Pyongyang to restart the dialogue

Posted July 17, 2017

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.

Chances for talks on family reunions are slimmer as North Korea has already made it clear that it won't agree to a fresh reunion program unless Seoul returns some of the North Korean defectors living in the South who it says were abducted by South Korean agents.

The reunions are a highly emotional issue because most applicants are in their 70s or 80s and are desperate to see their loved ones before they die. But he has achieved little progress, with North Korea test-firing a series of newly developed missiles.

The dialogue was aimed at stopping all hostile acts that escalate military tensions near the military demarcation line (MDL) dividing the two Koreas, the vice minister said. If an agreement cannot be found, analysts expect North Korea to have produced a nuclear missile that could reach the continental United States with a few years.

The Defense Ministry offered talks with Pyongyang counterparts on Monday, while the National Red Cross floated reunion events for families split by decades of hostilities. "The proposal to restart reunions of separated families is a follow up to President Moon Jae-in's Berlin Declaration, which attempts to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula and open up a channel of dialogue with Pyongyang".

He also offered to hold reunions of families torn apart by the war on October 4, Korea's lunar fall harvest holiday and the 10th anniversary of the second inter-Korean summit.

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We should never forget that ordinary North Koreans are suffering because of the Kim dynasty and its songun (military first) policy. If realised, they would be the first for two years.

Pyongyang announced the successful launch of its first intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), the Hwasong-14, on July 4. Suh said he expected a "positive response" to the idea, without elaborating on what he meant by hostility. His statement suggested he will order more missile and nuclear tests until North Korea develops a functioning ICBM that can place the entire US within its striking distance.

The agenda for the military meeting could include moves to suspend propaganda campaigns operated on both sides of the border for years, Cheong added.

Seoul's defense minister has requested talks with Pyongyang later this week, and is asking the North to stop all hostile activities in the area. Also, there have been many cases of abductions of South Koreans, in addition to Pyongyang's reckless nuclear weapons programme.

A separated family reunion applicant corrects his information at the headquarters of South Korea's Red Cross in Seoul on Monday.