Korea offers inter-Korean military, Red Cross talks

South Korea Proposes Rare Military Talks With North Korea

It asked Pyongyang to respond via an inter-Korean hotline, which was cut off by the North previous year.

The South Korean government has also proposed to restart reunions of families separated by the Korean War.

If the North accepts, it will be the first time since 2015 to hold such talks.

North Korea's state media didn't immediately respond to South Korea's proposals. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago". While humanitarian exchanges couldn't relieve the threat of war, North Korea never supported the suspension of "inter-Korean sporting events or joint projects for human rights, aimed at removing sadness of the nation's division", it said.

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.

The US maintains nearly 29,000 military servicemen stationed in South Korea, claiming they act as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.

Seoul's Unification Ministry says these latest proposals are in line with President Moon Jae-in's dual track policy to pursue both engagement with the Kim Jong Un government while also supporting USA led sanctions to pressure Pyongyang to halt its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs. FILE - 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 Kore. "[The government] is looking forward to a positive response from the North Korean side".

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Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk said in a statement at the defense ministry that South Korea proposed to the DPRK for holding talks of the military authorities on Friday at Tongilgak, a building in the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjom.

"Talks and cooperation between the two Koreas to ease tension and bring about peace on the Korean peninsula will be instrumental for pushing forth a mutual, virtuous cycle for inter-Korea relations and North Korea's nuclear problem", the South's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a news briefing.

The North's latest ICBM launch has stoked security worries as it showed the country could eventually ideal a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.

Moon expressed willingness to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "anytime, anywhere" shortly after taking office on May 10.

If realized, the talks would be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015.

Moon, who calls his predecessors' hard-line policies a total failure, has said he would employ both dialogue and pressure to resolve the North Korea standoff. North Korea is seen as worrying that doing so could open the country to influence from more affluent South Korea and threaten the ruling party's grip on power.

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