South Korea proposes reunion of separated families to the North

South Korea proposes reunion of separated families to the North

Trump has complained that trade increased between the two despite calling on his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to use the nation's unique diplomatic and economic clout over North Korea as leverage.

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

U.S. President Donald Trump and his top aides have signaled growing impatience with China over North Korea, especially since Pyongyang last week test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts say could put all of Alaska in range for the first time.

The South's defence ministry proposed a meeting to be held on Friday at the border truce village of Panmunjom, while the Red Cross offered to hold talks on August 1 at the same venue.

The proposals come after Moon said at the G20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month that he was in favor of dialogue with the North despite the "nuclear provocation" of its latest missile test.

If the government meeting goes ahead, it will mark the first official inter-Korea talks since December 2015.

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In the proposal for talks, South Korea did not elaborate on the meaning of hostile military activities, which varies between the two Koreas.

South Korea stepped up efforts Monday to engage North Korea by proposing military talks this week, despite Pyongyang's insistence on developing nuclear weapons in defiance of global sanctions.

China insisted Thursday it was abiding by UN sanctions on North Korea despite a jump in its trade with the nuclear-armed nation that comes amid growing United States calls for Beijing to rein in its neighbour. -South Korea military drills.

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 (UFG).

Moon has suggested hostile military activities be halted at the inter-Korean border on July 27, the anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.

North Korea says the South abducted the 12 waitresses and the restaurant manager and has demanded their return, but the South has said the group made a decision to defect of its own free will. Cho said this matter is not included on the talks agenda. Since then, no dialogue has been held as the DPRK conducted its fourth and fifth nuclear tests in January and September previous year and carried out a number of ballistic missile test-launches.

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