Global

Seoul offers military, family reunions talks with NK

Seoul offers military, family reunions talks with NK

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.

"North Korea should respond to our honest proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula", Cho Myoung-Gyon, Seoul's unification minister in charge of North Korea affairs, told reporters. While the commentary criticized the Berlin Vision as "having an undertone of antagonism throughout" and "including a litany of sleep-talking rhetoric that only piles up more obstacles, never mind helping to improve peace and inter-Korean relations", it also observed, "It is at least fortunate that it included positions that were different from [the administration's] predecessors, including the pledges to respect and implement the June 15 Joint Declaration and October 4 Statement [of 2007]". "There will be a response from North Korea".

The last time the arch-rivals held military-level talks to ease tensions was in 2014 but they failed to reach an agreement then.

The U.S. has all military options available against North Korea, the chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, Adm. Harry Harris, said Friday. But he still has not backed off from his outreach to North Korea, arguing during a recent speech that both Koreas must stop hostile activities along the border and resume family reunions.

The Defense Ministry offered talks with Pyongyang counterparts on Monday, while the National Red Cross floated reunion events for families split by decades of hostilities. The overtures came after South Korean President Moon Moon Jae-in, who took office on May 10, proposed a peace initiative on the Korean Peninsula in Germany earlier this month.

South Korea's policy is consistently centered on making the Korean Peninsula free from the threats of nuclear weapons and war, he said. If realised, they would be the first for two years.

North Korea considers that the latest Washington's calls on the global community to increase the pressure on Pyongyang hamper any possibility of negotiations on the country's nuclear program, the state-owned Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday.

But Pyongyang has staged a series of missile launches in violation of United Nations resolutions - most recently on July 4 when it test-fired its first ICBM, a move which triggered global alarm and a push by US President Donald Trump to impose harsher United Nations sanctions.

It is unclear whether North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un will agree as he "remains suspicious" of his Seoul counterpart and his relationship with the USA, reports ABC news.

The military has also occasionally launched giant balloons containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border.

Al Jazeera's Kathy Novak, reporting from Seoul, said family separation is seen as a "very pressing and emotional humanitarian issue", - particularly in South Korea. The biggest factor in Seoul's rush to propose military talks with Pyongyang appears to be its sense that time is of the essence.

After the ICBM launch, Kim said he would never negotiate over his weapons programs as long as USA hostility and nuclear threats persist.


  • PG Rajon Rondo agrees to 1-year deal with New Orleans Pelicans

    The move comes days removed from a report from Zach Lowe of ESPN , who noted that the two parties were slated to meet. Rondo has career averages of 10.7 points and 8.5 assists over 11 National Basketball Association seasons.
    Ai Weiwei says Liu Xiaobo's case China's 'shame'

    Ai Weiwei says Liu Xiaobo's case China's 'shame'

    The world leaders, however, are praising Liu and called on China to release his widow, Liu Xia, from house arrest. "When Mr. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, defended the country on Friday from criticism over Liu's treatment.
    Manchester United linked with moves for £100m pair

    Manchester United linked with moves for £100m pair

    The Daily Mail indicate Antonio Conte could raid Roma for Nainggolan, despite Tiemoue Bakayoko's imminent switch to Chelsea . The Spurs run a strict policy on wages and they can't possibly match United's offer without breaking their wage structure.
  • Katrina Kaif's voice in Jagga Jasoos was dubbed

    Katrina Kaif's voice in Jagga Jasoos was dubbed

    First things first, let me stick my neck out and say it right at the onset - Jagga Jasoos is a brilliant film all the way. Additionally, reveal to us what are your perspectives about Jagga Jasoos day 2 film box office collections 13-14 Crores.
    All-Star MVP Cano's can-do attitude wins game for AL

    All-Star MVP Cano's can-do attitude wins game for AL

    Seattle Mariner second baseman Robinson Cano hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the 10th inning to give his team the win. He walked Harper and Buster Posey, threw a pair of wild pitches and got out of a bases-loaded jam when Murphy grounded out.
    Bridal retailer Alfred Angelo abruptly closes all stores

    Bridal retailer Alfred Angelo abruptly closes all stores

    Bridal have offered discounts and other assistance those affected by the dress maker's shutdown. Holly Fudge, a Kettering resident, said she has two friends who bought dresses from the store.
  • DeLand sky diver sent wife video foretelling suicidal plunge

    DeLand sky diver sent wife video foretelling suicidal plunge

    A spokesman for Skydive DeLand told the Washington Post that they offer their deepest sympathy to Vitantonio's family and friends. His social media profiles show numerous photos of him in the air, sometimes with a GoPro-style camera strapped to his head.
    Is Harry Styles really done with acting?

    Is Harry Styles really done with acting?

    The channel was very rough and it felt hard and risky - and that was without people dropping bombs on us. We made the crossing about the same time of year the evacuation had taken place and went to Dunkirk .
    PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Getting FOV Slider In July Update

    PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Getting FOV Slider In July Update

    FOV sliders can be crucial in preventing motion sickness, among other things, and are a fixture in most first person games. They are set to be added to the game in the next update , and will not be replacing old servers but adding new ones.
  • Disney's 'Aladdin' remake casts Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott as Aladdin and Jasmine

    Disney's 'Aladdin' remake casts Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott as Aladdin and Jasmine

    While it will use that film as a template, it will also look further afield, drawing on the source material, 1001 Arabian Nights . While Scott has some high-profile work to her name such as " Power Rangers ", Massoud (pictured below) is more of a newbie.
    Seven Hindu pilgrims killed in militant attack in Indian Kashmir

    Seven Hindu pilgrims killed in militant attack in Indian Kashmir

    What followed were violent protests, several months of curfew and an overall deterioration in Jammu and Kashmir's security situation.
    Justice Dept. announces crackdown on opioid abuse by doctors

    Justice Dept. announces crackdown on opioid abuse by doctors

    Sessions cited the example of a group in MI , including six doctors, who billed Medicare for $164 million in false claims by prescribing unnecessary opioids.