South asks North to hold military talks this week

A scene at the inter Korean truce village Panmunjom in this undated file

South Korea is willing to put North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test aside and work together with the DPRK to ease heightening tensions and resume reuniting families who were separated by their war in the 1950s, according to Fox news. We connect with our Kim Hyun-bin, who is at the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul.

South Korea on Monday offered to hold military discussions with North Korea for the first time in almost three years in an effort to reduce tensions on the Korean peninsula. Seoul began blaring anti-Pyongyang broadcasts and K-Pop songs via border loudspeakers, and Pyongyang responded with its own border broadcasts and launches of balloons carrying anti-South leaflets.

The South Korean defense ministry proposed talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all activities that fuel tension at the military demarcation line.

In an act to rein in the North, the United States is preparing new sanctions on Chinese banks and firms doing business with Pyongyang possibly within weeks, two senior US officials said last week. A senior government official reported on July 16 that the administration was "fine-tuning plans to propose talks to North Korea within the week".

Cho Myoung-gyon, head of the Unification Ministry, which handles inter-Korean relations, later said in a press briefing Monday that South Korea had left enough wiggle room for the North, adding that the local government would flesh things out once Pyongyang reacts.

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The last such reunions were held in 2015. The proposal is set to be the first follow-up measure for the "Berlin Vision" announced by President Moon Jae-in in Germany on July 6 as a step toward achieving a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

Six South Koreans including three pastors - Kim Jung-wook, Kim Kuk-gi and Choe Chun-gil - are being held in captivity in North Korea.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., stated last Thursday the North Korean Enablers Accountability Act, would "ban any entity that does business with North Korea or its enablers.and to impose U.S. sanctions on all those participating on North Korean labor trafficking abuses".

The meeting is meant to come to an agreement to stop all hostile activities that increase military tension along the border between the North and South.

On the separate offer to hold family reunions, the Korean Red Cross asked the North to hold relevant talks on August 1 at the Peace House, a South Korea-controlled building in the truce village, known as the equivalent to North Korea's Tongilgak.

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