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Seoul suggests inter-Korean border talks

South Korea's Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk said the talks could be held on 21 July at Tongilgak, a North Korean building in the Panmunjom compound in the demilitarised zone.

"The Korean Red Cross proposes holding a meeting at Panmunjom's Peace House on August 1st to address humanitarian issues including the reunion of separated families in light of the Chuseok holiday".

"Kim Jong-un directly mentioned (the need for) inter-Korean military talks in the 7th Congress of the Workers' Party of Korea held last year, the first of its kind in 36 years", said Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies.

"And perhaps, if that went well, then it would set the scene for the Red Cross to be able to talk a bit more about the possibility of having family reunions this year", said Novak.

This computer generated image shows South Korea and North Korea shaking hands.

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.

"With the words, the South Korean government may mean suspending propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts or anti-North Korean leaflet drops, but the North could demand halt of joint military drills between South Korea and the United States", said Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea specialist at Dongguk University in Seoul.

This offer of a dialogue is the first since the arrival to power in may of president Moon Jae-In, perceived as more open to negotiation than his predecessor.

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The call to conversation from the newly in-office President Moon marks a change in approach for the South Korean government's stance towards its northern neighbor.

He also offered to hold reunions of families torn apart by the war on October 4, Korea's lunar fall harvest holiday and the 10th anniversary of the second inter-Korean summit.

North Korea didn't immediately respond to the latest offers. In 2015, her government deported a South Korean-born American citizen who had spoken warmly about her trips to North Korea in public appearances and articles in South Korea.

The North's latest ICBM launch has stoked security worries as it showed the country could eventually ideal a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Pyongyang cut off direct communications with the South in February 2016, leaving Seoul no other choice but to convey their message openly through the media, government sources said.

Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy, expressed doubt that the talks proposed Monday would lead to a breakthrough since North Korea has made clear it's not interested in denuclearization and President Donald Trump's administration is moving forward with sanctions.

While Cho says there is no "separation" between the USA and South Korea on dealing with the North Korean nuclear threat, Washington continues to emphasize pressure over dialogue and is preparing new sanctions on Chinese banks and firms doing business with Pyongyang possibly within weeks, according to US officials.

The military has also occasionally launched giant balloons containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border. His statement suggested he will order more missile and nuclear tests until North Korea develops a functioning ICBM that can place the entire US within its striking distance.

Japan supports new sanctions but also maintains that Russian Federation and China must do more to fully implement the current set of measures targeting their economic ties with North Korea.

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