South Korea Extends A Rare Invitation For Military Talks With North

South Korea Extends A Rare Invitation For Military Talks With North

South Korea Extends A Rare Invitation For Military Talks With North

South Korea on Monday offered to hold rare military talks with North Korea on Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom. The government is mulling to pull the money out of the South-North Cooperation Fund where 200 billion won ($176.4 million) is immediately available.

It also comes amid a surge in petrol and diesel prices in the hermit state, weeks after a Chinese state oil company suspended fuel sales amid global pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programmes. South Korea and the United States dispute the claim.

"We will consider the normalization of dialogue between the South and the North, monitoring the latter's position on denuclearization", the unification minister said, as quoted by the agency.

North Korea will likely accept Moon's proposed talks on easing border animosities, as it's something that it's previously called for. The last time North Korean and South Korean military officials met was in December 2015.

If all goes according to plan, the Red Cross talks would occur on August 1st, and family reunions could occur during the Chuseok holiday season in October.

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But Moon's overture, the first formal offer of talks since his inauguration in May, indicates he wants to use dialogue to defuse the global standoff over North Korea's weapons programs, despite having condemned the North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4 and vowed a firm response.

The chinese ministry of foreign Affairs welcomed on Monday the initiative of south korea, hoping that " the two parties are moving in a positive direction for (...) out of the impasse and to restart the dialogue and negotiations".

Moon spoke earlier this month in Berlin and said the only way to get the North to denuclearize is if both sides reduce military tensions first.

European Union sanctions against North Korea date back to 2006 and are part of worldwide efforts to halt a nuclear and ballistic missile programme that experts say is meant to give Pyongyang the capability to hit the USA mainland.

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.

Time Has Run Out On North Korea
Later Monday, South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myong Gyon urged North Korea to accept the South Korean offer for talks. The Red Cross has proposed that the meeting on family reunions to be held at the same place on the 1st of August.

Arirang reports the two countries haven't had military talks like this since 2014.

It also bitterly opposes South Korea's deployment of a sophisticated US missile defense system that Beijing says jeopardizes Chinese security because of an ability to monitor missile launches and other military activities within northeastern China.

Mr Moon suggested earlier this month hostile military activities at the border be ended on 27 July, the anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.

The ministry asked North Korea to respond by restoring the two Koreas' military communication line in the West Sea.

Meetings on eve of Parliament session
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to attend the meeting on Sunday, reports said. Both the meetings will be held in the Parliament Library building.

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