South Korea offers to talk with North on tensions and family reunions

S. Korea seeks rare talks with North to ease military tensions

S. Korea seeks rare talks with North to ease military tensions

Talks could be held in the village of Panmunjom, just on the North Korean side of the border, as soon as Friday, the ministry said, with the goal of ending "all acts of hostility" along the Military Demarcation Line that separates the two countries.

Pyongyang cut off military communication in the Yellow Sea (known as West Sea in Korea) in February past year, in response to the South Korean government's unilateral decision to shut down the Kaesong Industrial Complex (KIC) that month.

North Korea did not immediately respond.

South Korea has offered to hold talks with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s. A senior official with the Ministry of National Defense said it was "continuing to hold discussions on inter-Korean military talks with the Ministry of Unification and other agencies involved in practical matters". The dialogue was suspended by increased cross-border tension following the North's missile and nuclear activities.

South Korea proposed military talks and family reunions with North Korea on Monday to reduce the increasing potential for conflict over Pyongyang's continued development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Mr. Moon was elected by promising to reach out to the North. The region was used for previous inter-Korea talks. It is the first such offer under South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, who signaled his willingness to talk with Pyongyang during his campaign earlier this year.

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The Moon administration is apparently seeking to start by re-establishing idle communication channels through issues that appeal to Pyongyang, such as the propaganda broadcasts and flyers and then holding the family reunions, a more urgent matter to Seoul.

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

Indeed, the Ministry of Unification is viewing North Korea's first response to the Berlin Vision - published in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper on July 15 in the name of a member of the North Korean public - as "not entirely negative".

The South's Red Cross proposed holding the talks on August 1 at the Peace House, a Panmunjeom building controlled by the South. About 28,500 American troops are stationed in South Korea.

He singled out a group of 12 who fled while working at a North Korean restaurant in China a year ago, and Kim Ryon-hui, a defector who requested to go back to her homeland in 2015.

The reunions are a highly emotional issue because most applicants are in their 70s or 80s and are desperate to see their loved ones before they die. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago". His statement suggested he will order more missile and nuclear tests until North Korea develops a functioning ICBM that can place the entire US within its striking distance.

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