Seoul to propose inter-Korean dialogue to Pyongyang

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Seoul, July 7 (IANS) The South Korean government will propose a dialogue with North Korea to de-escalate military tensions and make progress in humanitarian cooperation, an official from Seoul’s Unification Ministry said on Friday.

The proposal is being mulled following South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s comments about establishing dialogue on Thursday in Berlin ahead of the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

The official told Efe news that a detailed plan will soon be published on the proposal to be made to Pyongyang.

While the military dialogue will seek to de-escalate tensions on the peninsula, the meetings through their respective Red Cross delegations will negotiate reunion events for families separated by the Korean War, which have not taken place since 2015.

More than 60,000 South Koreans, with an average age of 81, are still waiting to meet relatives on the other side.

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After the Kim Jong-un regime launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4 which in turn prompted South Korea to carry out its own ballistic tests, Moon said in Berlin that dialogue with Pyongyang was more urgent than ever.

The South Korean President said he was ready to meet the North’s leader if the conditions are right, according to the text of his speech provided by the presidential office.

He also proposed that the two countries should mutually suspend hostile acts along the border on July 27, the anniversary of the armistice at the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Moon also proposed that reunions of the separated families should take place on October 4, coinciding with the Korean harvest festival.

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