Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

A North Korean soldier, right, and a South Korean counterpart look at each other through a window at a UN building in the truce village of Panmunjom, where Seoul has suggested the talks should take place (Reuters

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A North Korean soldier, right, and a South Korean counterpart look at each other through a window at a UN building in the truce village of Panmunjom, where Seoul has suggested the talks should take place (Reuters )
South Korea has proposed military talks with North Korea as the new administration in Seoul looks to calm tensions and launch a peace process on the peninsula.

(ft) -- The move to engage with the Kim Jong Un regime, which this month successfully tested its first inter-continental ballistic missile, is likely to rile the US, as President Donald Trump attempts to rally the international community to bolster sanctions and pile pressure on Pyongyang.

Should Pyongyang agree to the overture, the military talks would be the first for three years. They have been slated for Friday in the truce village of Panmunjom, located in the heavily fortified but misnamed demilitarised zone, or DMZ, between the two nations.

The proposal comes a week after South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in outlined his vision for dialogue with North Korea during a speech in Berlin.

“We do not want North Korea’s collapse, nor will we seek any form of unification by absorption,” he said.

 Seoul has also proposed reopening Red Cross talks, aimed at resuming reunions of families split by the bisection of the peninsula during the Korean war in the 1950s.

North Korea has yet to respond to Seoul’s proposal but experts in Seoul expect Pyongyang to agree to military talks, although it is less likely to be co-operative on resuming reunions of separated families.
 

source: Financial Times