South Korea seeks rare talks with North to ease military tensions

South Korea proposes talks with North Korea on July 21 wants military hotline restored

South Korea proposes talks with North Korea on July 21 wants military hotline restored

"We request military talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all hostile activities that raise military tension at the military demarcation line", South Korea's Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk told a media briefing on Monday.

"The Korean Red Cross proposes holding a meeting at Panmunjom's Peace House on August 1st to address humanitarian issues including the reunion of separated families in light of the Chuseok holiday".

"And perhaps, if that went well, then it would set the scene for the Red Cross to be able to talk a bit more about the possibility of having family reunions this year", said Novak.

North Korea gets most of its fuel from China, with some coming from Russian Federation.

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If the meeting is to take place as planned, it would be the first dialogue between the military authorities of the two sides in nearly three years; their previous meeting was held on October 15, 2014. North Korea's most recent missile test, which took place about three weeks ago, involved an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska.

"We make the proposal of a meeting aimed to put an end to the hostile activities that make up the military tension along the land border", said in a press release the ministry of south Korean Defense.

President Moon Jae-in's overture Monday clearly showed again that he prefers diplomacy over pressure or economic sanctions to try to improve ties between the two Koreas and persuade the North to give up its nuclear weapons program.

If the talks are held, loudspeaker broadcasts, leafleting and South Korea-U.S. drills are expected to top the agenda.

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The North severed the West Sea hotline in protest against the Park Geun-hye government's shutdown of the Kaesong factory park in February 2016. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago".

Through the olive branch to follow up on Moon's peace overture, the South hopes to lay the groundwork for easing tension and opening additional dialogue meant to persuade it to suspend provocations, freeze its weapons of mass destruction program and expand inter-Korean economic cooperation.

"So far", Elise adds, "the North has not responded to the offer from Seoul".

It is unclear whether North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un will agree as he "remains suspicious" of his Seoul counterpart and his relationship with the United States, reports ABC news. Moon's two conservative predecessors suspended large aid shipments and major cooperation projects, and cross-border communication hotlines have been shut down. He said now was North Korea's last best chance to change direction.

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The military has also occasionally launched giant balloons containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

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