S. Korea offers talks on tension, family reunions with North – New York News

It was unclear how North Korea will react since it remains suspicious of new South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s outreach to it.


SEOUL, South Korea — South Korea on Monday offered talks with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.

It was unclear how North Korea will react since it remains suspicious of new South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s outreach to it. But Moon’s overture, the first formal offer of talks since his inauguration in May, indicates he wants to use dialogue to defuse the international standoff over North Korea’s weapons programs, despite having condemned the North’s first intercontinental ballistic missile test on July 4 and vowed a firm response.

If realized, the talks would be the first inter-Korean dialogue since December 2015. Ties between the Koreas have plunged over the North’s expanding missile and nuclear programs and the hard-line policies of Moon’s conservative predecessors.

South Korean Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo Suk proposed on Monday that defense officials from the two Koreas hold talks at the border village of Panmunjom on Friday on how to end hostile activities along the border. South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on Aug. 1 to discuss family reunions.

North Korea’s state media didn’t immediately respond to South Korea’s proposals. But analysts say North Korea may accept the defense talks because it wants the South Korean army to halt loudspeaker broadcasts at the…

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