South Korea Proposes Military Talks With North For First Time Since 2015
July 17, 2017
South Korea on July 17 proposed holding military talks with rival North Korea and a halt to hostile activities near their tense border.
South Korean Vice Defense Mnister Suh Choo-suk's comments come after a series of missile tests by the North in recent weeks raised tensions with the South, the United States, and Japan, and brought condemnation from many other nations.
"We request military talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all hostile activities that raise military tension at the military demarcation line," Suh told a news briefing.
Tongilgak is a North Korean building in the truce village of Panmunjom used for previous talks in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two natoins.
If talks are held, they would be the first government-level negotiations since late 2015.
South Korea's new president, Moon Jae-in, has expressed a willingness to improve relations with the North.
On July 6, he said he was willing to meet North leader Kim Jong Un to try to reduce tensions after North Korea's successful test launch of a nuclear-capable intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 4.
The North's missile program is banned by the United Nations.
Based on reporting by Reuters and Yonhap
Copyright (c) 2017. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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