South Korea offers to hold rare talks with North

A scene at the inter Korean truce village Panmunjom in this undated file

A scene at the inter Korean truce village Panmunjom in this undated file

Prospects for talks on family reunions are less good because North Korea has previously demanded that South Korea repatriate some North Korean defectors living in the South before any reunions take place, according to the analysts.

President Donald Trump and his top aides have signaled growing impatience with China over North Korea.

Cho added, "In principle, we haven't changed our basic stance that we would use whatever method we have to press North Korea towards denuclearization, including sanctions [against the regime] when the North carries out a nuclear or missile provocation, and dialogue".

Last year, China shipped to North Korea more than 96,000 tonnes of gasoline and almost 45,000 tonnes of diesel, worth a combined $64 million.

"After North Korea's frequent missile tests including its very first ICBM test, the global community has vowed to tighten sanctions, and China simply can not exclude itself from the recent movement, although it probably does not want to indefinitely cut off fuel sales to the North", Kang said.

The United States has been trying to get China and Russian Federation to back a new U.N. Security Council resolution imposing stiffer sanctions on North Korea following its latest missile test.

South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions.

The Red Cross has proposed the reunions for October, during the Chuseok holiday.

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SOUTH KOREA'S DEFENCE MINISTRY, which has proposed a meeting with North Korean officials at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

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.

In the proposal for talks, South Korea did not elaborate on the meaning of hostile military activities, which varies between the two Koreas.

"North Korea should respond to our honest proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula", Seoul's Unification Minister in charge of North Korea affairs Cho Myoung Gyon said.

Referring to Moon as the "chief executive of South Korea", without directly mentioning his real name, the commentary read that his speech meant to "escalate confrontation with the compatriots in the North and stifle them with the backing of outsiders", and that it was "characterized by nonsensical sophism putting a brake on the efforts" for achieving inter-Korean peace and repairing bilateral relations.

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.

Yonhap suggests the offer might have been made sooner if North Korea did not insist on proceeding with provocative missile tests.

North Korea says South Korea abducted the waitresses, but Seoul has said they defected of their own free will. Cho said this matter was not included on the talks agenda.

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