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South Korea's new govt proposes military talks with North Korea

18 July 2017

If the meeting goes ahead, it would be the first official inter-Korea talks since December 2015. 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.

South Korea on Monday offered to hold rare military talks with North Korea on Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., stated last Thursday the North Korean Enablers Accountability Act, would "ban any entity that does business with North Korea or its enablers...and to impose U.S. sanctions on all those participating on North Korean labor trafficking abuses".

"So far", Elise adds, "the North has not responded to the offer from Seoul".

It was unclear how North Korea will react since it remains suspicious of new South Korean President Moon Jae-in's outreach to it.

Others EU countries, including large members such as Britain, France and Germany, are wary of allowing North Korea to use talks to divide the worldwide community.

Continued North Korea provocations, however, is pushing Washington toward stepping up unilateral sanctions, a move Beijing has opposed.

In the first six months of this year, trade between China and North Korea increased 10.5 percent to $2.5 billion, compared to the same period last year, according to official figures from Beijing.

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The two Koreas have been divided since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew nearly 40 percent in the first quarter".

Kim Jong-un launched a sick celebration of the successful test launch of the country's first intercontinental ballistic missile.

The South Korean defence ministry proposed talks with the North on 21 July at Tongilgak to stop all activities that fuel tension at the military demarcation line.

If the talks are held, loudspeaker broadcasts, leafleting and South Korea-U.S. drills are expected to top the agenda.

North Korea will likely accept Moon's proposed talks on easing border animosities, as it's something that it's previously called for.

Chances for talks on family reunions are slimmer as North Korea has already made it clear that it won't agree to a fresh reunion program unless Seoul returns some of the North Korean defectors living in the South who it says were abducted by South Korean agents.

North Korea is believed to possess hundreds of missiles capable of striking South Korea and Japan. North Korea is seen as worrying that doing so could open the country to influence from more affluent South Korea and threaten the ruling party's grip on power.

South Korea's new govt proposes military talks with North Korea