Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

Gasoline and diesel prices have reportedly jumped in North Korea, after its largest crude supplier China halted fuel sales.

South Korea on Monday offered talks with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.

Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk proposed that the two sides meet on Friday at the North's side of the Panmunjeom truce village, hinting that Seoul may be willing to suspend anti-North broadcasts in the demilitarized zone.

With North Korea pushing to expand its nuclear and missile arsenals, relations between the two Koreas are at one of their lowest points in decades. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago".

The United States, South Korea's main ally, which has been trying to rally global support for tougher sanctions on North Korea, appeared cool to the proposal, recalling President Donald Trump's statements that conditions must be right for dialogue.

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The offer comes after North Korea claimed to have conducted the first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) earlier this month, and said it had mastered the technology to mount a nuclear warhead on the missile.

David Petraeus, the retired general and former Central Intelligence Agency director, said the US needs to continue tightening sanctions on North Korea to get the country's "attention" and persuade it to accept a diplomatic accord over its nuclear arsenal.

Seoul's Red Cross says it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions, with possible reunions over the Chuseok holiday, which falls in October this year.

The meeting held between Lim and Mark Field in Britain on Monday (local time) focused on how to improve their bilateral ties and expand cooperation in trade, investment and other areas, such as the North's nuclear issue, according to the ministry.

He told a briefing Monday for a group of United Nations correspondents that "dialogue for the sake of dialogue is meaningless".

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In a news conference on Monday, he suggested that the two Koreas' militaries discuss ways to end all hostile acts near the border.

South Korea has proposed holding inter-Korean military level talks with the isolated Kim Jong-un regime this week in an effort to reduce simmering tensions along the border shared by the neighbours. -South Korea military drills.

China's Foreign Ministry yesterday welcomed Seoul's peace gesture, saying it hopes "the two sides will move in a positive direction to break the stalemate and to relaunch the dialogue and negotiations", according to AFP.

North Korea's state media hasn't immediately responded to South Korea's overtures.

Previously, Pyongyang has repeatedly said it refuses to engage in all talks with the South unless Seoul turns over 12 waitresses who defected to the South previous year. The latest ICBM test - which Kim described as a "gift" to the Americans - was seen as a milestone in Pyongyang´s quest to build a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that can hit the United States mainland.

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