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Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Important news
SOUTH KOREA OFFERS MILITARY TALKS WITH NORTH
    2017-July-18  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

SOUTH KOREA yesterday offered military and Red Cross talks with North Korea to ease military tensions along the inter-Korean border and resume humanitarian exchange between peoples of the two sides.

Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk said in a statement that South Korea proposed holding military talks with the North on Friday at Tongilgak, a building in the North side of the truce village of Panmunjom.

The dialogue was aimed at stopping all hostile acts that escalate military tensions near the military demarcation line (MDL) dividing the two Koreas, the vice minister said.

Suh called on Pyongyang to restore the military communications line in the western region to send a reply to South Korea’s dialogue overture, expressing anticipation of the North’s positive response.

The dialogue overture was a follow-up measure to South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s peace initiative, declared in Berlin on July 6, to stop all hostile acts along the inter-Korean border on the date of July 27 that marks the 64th anniversary of the cease-fire agreement ending the 1950-1953 Korean War.

In his Berlin speech, Moon also proposed holding Red Cross talks with the North for the reunion of separated families of the two Koreas on Oct. 4 that marks the 10th anniversary of the Oct. 4 joint declaration and also the traditional Chuseok holiday.

The Oct. 4 declaration was the outcome of the inter-Korean summit that was held in Pyongyang in 2007 between late South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun and late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, father of the current leader Kim Jong Un.

As another follow-up measure to Moon’s initiative, the South Korean Red Cross proposed to its North counterpart holding humanitarian talks Aug. 1 at the Peace House, a building on the South Korean side of Panmunjom.

The dialogue was designed to hold a reunion event of families, who have been separated since the 1950-1953 Korean War ended in armistice, on the occasion of the Chuseok holiday in early October.

The latest inter-Korean contact was the vice ministerial-level talks that were held in December 2015. Since then, no dialogue has been held as North Korea conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests in January and September last year and carried out a number of ballistic missile test-launches.

The last inter-Korean military contact was the closed-door meeting in October 2014.

All of inter-Korean communication channels were cut off following the shutdown in February last year of the Kaesong Industrial Complex.

Whether Pyongyang would accept Seoul’s dialogue offer remained uncertain ahead of the joint annual war game between South Korea and the United States, codenamed Ulchi Freedom Guardian.

The computer-assisted simulation exercise has been denounced by North Korea as a dress rehearsal for the northward invasion.

(Xinhua)

 

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