North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil supplies

North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil supplies

North Korea fuel prices surge after China cuts oil supplies

Seoul proposed military talks for this coming Friday and Red Cross talks on August 1 to discuss ways to ease tensions along their shared border and resume reunions of families separated since the 1950-53 Korean War. Official talks between the sides have not been held since December 2015. During that period, two liberal South Korean presidents went to Pyongyang and held landmark summit talks with then-leader Kim Jong Il, the father of current North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un.

The South's military has deployed dozens of giant loudspeakers along the tense border to blare out a mix of world news, K-pop songs and other propaganda targeting young North Korean soldiers.

Moon's four-point peace vision, described in a speech on July 6 at the Koerber Foundation in Berlin, during his trip to Germany for the Group of 20 summit, included the ease of military tensions near the inter-Korean border, a reunion of families separated by the Korean War, North Korea's participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and inter-Korean dialogue.

"There is no change in our position that we will put forth effort to (persuade) North Korea to come out for denuclearization by using all possible measures such as sanctions and talks", South Korea's unification minister said. That means the USA needs to keep squeezing financial institutions in China and elsewhere "that are enabling North Korea to operate in the global financial world without which they would be in very desperate condition".

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If Seoul's offer is accepted by Pyongyang, it would be the first meeting of the two countries' military authorities since October 2014.

The two Koreas restarted Cold War-era psychological warfare after the North's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

South Korea's Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk told a media briefing that talks could be held at Tongilgak, a North Korean building in the Panmunjom compound in the demilitarised zone between the two countries, which was used to host previous talks.

South Korean officials have long called for holding reunions more regularly and expanding the number of people taking part.

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North Korea imports nearly all of its oil and gas from China; most of that comes through CNPC.

Experts say an extended cut by China would threaten critical supplies of gasoline and diesel and force North Korea to find alternative sources of refined fuel products.

If a meeting takes place, it will mark the first military talks between the neighbours in three years.

"Once that is established, then both sides can understand what the other is seeking".

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