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

South Korea proposes rare military talks with North at Panmunjom

As the North's leader Kim Jong-un addressed the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea in May past year, he voiced hope for military talks with the South, saying it would serve as an opportunity for comprehensive consultations on removing possible risks of an armed clash in the border area and easing tension.

Officials of the Korean Red Cross receive phone calls at their headquarters in Jung District, Seoul, on Monday after the South Korean agency proposed inter-Korean talks on materializing separated family reunion sessions. "The President has directed us to not do that and to prepare a range of options, including a military option, which nobody wants to take".

Separately, the Red Cross raised the possibility of a meeting with its North Korean counterpart on August 1 to discuss possible family reunions to coincide with shared holidays October 4. Kim's statement suggested he will order more missile and nuclear tests until North Korea develops a functioning ICBM that can place the entire USA within its striking distance.

Seoul's proposal, which comes after months of repeated nuclear weapons tests by Pyongyang, would be the first government-level talks between the two Koreas since 2015, reports Efe news. FILE - In this October 22, 2015, file photo, North Korean Son Kwon Geun, center, weeps with his South Korean relatives as he bids farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Kore.

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 DPRK leader Kim Jong Il, father of the current leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korea's Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk talking to media said that meeting could be held at Tongilgak, which was earlier used to hold previous talks.

There was no immediate response by the North to the proposal for talks later this week.

The North's latest ICBM launch has stoked security worries as it showed the country could eventually flawless a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States.

North Korea has constantly demanded South Korea do away with the loudspeakers, which blare news of the outside world and criticism of the North's leader Kim Jong-un, as well as South Korean pop music, toward the tightly controlled regime. More than half of them are in their 80s or older.

The agenda for the military meeting could include moves to suspend propaganda campaigns operated on both sides of the border for years, Cheong added. Beijing has been joined by Moscow in its "suspension-for-suspension" proposal, in which North Korea suspends weapons tests while South Korea and the USA defer further large-scale military exercises. 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.

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