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

Pauline Gross
July 18, 2017

At the start of the meeting, Kang said that human rights in North Korea remains to be a "matter of great concern" to the South Korean government under President Moon Jae-in and the stance will remain in its discussion at the United Nations going forward.

Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung also met with Quintana earlier in the day, appealing for attention to South Koreans detained in North Korea, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

Despite condemning the ICBM test, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday offered talks with North Korea, indicating for the first time since his inauguration in May that he wants to use dialogue to defuse the global standoff over the North's nuclear and missile programs.

The proposed legislation is also the latest sign the United States is no longer waiting for China to increase pressure on firms within its borders that have been engaged in either hiring North Korean workers or trading with Pyongyang. South Korea has offered on Monday, July 17, 2017 to talk with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.

The bipartisan legislation on North Korea introduced last week in Washington may be treading new territory with sanctions against at least one Chinese garment company suspected of hiring North Korean forced laborers. The last family reunion was held in October that year.

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Cho Myoung-gyon, head of the Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, later said in a press briefing Monday that South Korea had left enough wiggle room for the North, adding that the local government would flesh things out once Pyongyang reacts. The proposal is set to be the first follow-up measure for the "Berlin Vision" announced by President Moon Jae-in in Germany on July 6 as a step toward achieving a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

Seoul's proposal, which comes after months of repeated nuclear weapons tests by Pyongyang, would be the first government-level talks between the two Koreas since 2015, reports Efe news.

Those talks would be held on August 1, also in Panmunjom - that is, if Pyongyang accepts.

The meeting is meant to come to an agreement to stop all hostile activities that increase military tension along the border between the North and South. Most watchers say there's a good chance North Korea will agree to hold the talks, but it may propose another date. not July 21st as the South suggested For now though, the ball is in North Korea's court and we just have to wait and see.

Other reports by GizPress

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