South Korea’s offer of military and family reunion talks with North Korea on Monday reflects President Moon Jae-in’s resolve to draw a line between sanctions on Pyongyang and efforts to improve bilateral ties.
The country’s Red Cross also wants to open talks of its own “to discuss restarting reunions between families separated by the Korean War”, NPR’s Elise Hu notes.
Moon was emboldened by U.S. President Donald Trump’s support for Seoul to take the initiative in dealing with Korea issues.
“The elephant in the room is going to continue to be North Korea”, Petraeus, 64, said in an interview Monday in Boston.
But among the likely items are propaganda loudspeaker broadcasts and the launch of leaflets slandering each other’s systems, which have often been a source of tension. That means that North Korea’s irrational, anti-American leader Kim Jong Un is well on his way, if not already there, to having inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead that could reach Alaska, Hawaii and probably cities on our West Coast. Nevertheless, the European Union provided no details on dialogue it was going to conduct with Pyongyang. The December 2015 talks at a now-stalled joint factory park in North Korea ended with no breakthroughs. -South Korea military exercises in the region in exchange for North Korea suspending its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. South Korea’s Red Cross said on Monday, July 17, 2017, it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions. The three-member delegation will be headed by the organization’s secretary-general Kim Gunn-joong, she said, asking the North to reply via a cross-border Red Cross liaison.
Moon’s four-point peace vision, described in a speech on July 6 at the Koerber Foundation in Berlin, during his trip to Germany for the Group of 20 summit, included the ease of military tensions near the inter-Korean border, a reunion of families separated by the Korean War, North Korea’s participation in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and inter-Korean dialogue. The move came as part of the worldwide pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programs.
Cho stressed that Seoul “would not seek collapse of the North or unification through absorbing the North” and urged Pyongyang to restore inter-Korea communication channels, including a shuttered military hotline. The last family reunion was held in October that year.
The 13 were “being detained by force in South Korea” and without their immediate comeback, “there can never be any kind of humanitarian cooperation”, Kim Yong-chol told the AFP in Pyongyang.