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S Korea offers rare talks with North on tensions, family reunions

S Korea offers rare talks with North on tensions, family reunions”

South Korea on Monday proposed holding inter-Korean military talks on Friday to ease tensions along the border, South Korean Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo Suk said.

Moon's government proposed two sets of talks to discuss how to dial down tensions and resume reunions of aging Koreans separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

"North Korea must respond to our proposals honest if it is truly peace on the Korean peninsula", told reporters Cho Myoung-Gyon, south Korean minister of Unification. While the commentary criticized the Berlin Vision as "having an undertone of antagonism throughout" and "including a litany of sleep-talking rhetoric that only piles up more obstacles, never mind helping to improve peace and inter-Korean relations", it also observed, "It is at least fortunate that it included positions that were different from [the administration's] predecessors, including the pledges to respect and implement the June 15 Joint Declaration and October 4 Statement [of 2007]".

North Korea gets most of its fuel from China, with some coming from Russian Federation. Last time Seoul and Pyongyang held intergovernmental talks in late 2015.

Kang Mi-jin, a defector who speaks regularly to market sources inside North Korea and reports commodity prices for Daily NK, said the price spikes in recent weeks were caused initially by the rumours - later confirmed - that China was restricting the flow of oil to North Korea.

After the North announced the successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, Harris said it is getting "closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-equipped missile" to the US mainland.

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The call to conversation from the newly in-office President Moon marks a change in approach for the South Korean government's stance towards its northern neighbor. The Korean War was halted with a cease-fire that left the peninsula still technically at war. It was the Moon government's first formal proposal for talks with North Korea since its May 10 inauguration.

The US maintains nearly 29,000 military servicemen stationed in South Korea, claiming they act as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea. He had proposed dialogue and other modes of engagement with Pyongyang, including extending an invitation to North Korean delegates to the 2018 Winter Olympics that the South will be hosting in its Pyeongchang county.

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 US led sanctions to pressure Pyongyang to halt its nuclear and ballistic missiles programs. Suh said he expected a "positive response" to the idea, without elaborating on what he meant by hostility. South Korea and the United States dispute the claim.

Pyongyang has said it refuses to sit down for dialogue unless Seoul turns over 12 waitresses who defected to the South a year ago, which does not look likely.

Family reunification and humanitarian improvement are other goals alongside the de-escalating the nuclear and military conflict between the two Koreas.



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