Reaching Out: South Korea Offers Military Talks With North Korea

South Korea on Monday invited North Korea to participate in military talks, the first formal overture by newly elected President Moon Jae-in who promised an increased diplomatic outreach to the reclusive and volatile nuclear-armed regime to the north.

North Korea did not immediately respond. Neither did President Trump, who has pursued a more hawkish policy toward North Korea and promised “very severe things” in response to recent long-range missile tests.

Mr. Moon proposed opening the talks with North Korea on July 21 in the border town of Tongilgak.

“We request military talks with the North on July 21 at Tongilgak to stop all hostile activities that raise military tension at the military demarcation line,” South Korea’s Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk said at a press briefing.

South Korea’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said, “Talks and cooperation between the two Koreas to ease tension and bring about peace on the Korean peninsula will be instrumental for pushing forth a mutual, virtuous cycle for inter-Korea relations and North Korea’s nuclear problem.”

The proposed talks come amid intensified tension on the Korea peninsula, with North Korea conducting a series of missile tests, including its first successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile that demonstrated the capability of delivering a nuclear warhead as far as Alaska.

The election in May of Mr. Moon, a liberal human-rights lawyer, ended decades of conservative dominance in South Korea.


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