South Korea Proposes Fresh Talks With North Korea

South Korean soldiers stand guard at the border village of Panmunjom between South and North Korea

Cho also urged the restoration of military and government hotlines across the border, which had been cut by the North past year in response to the South imposing economic sanctions after a nuclear test by Pyongyang. We connect with our Kim Hyun-bin, who is at the Ministry of National Defense in Seoul.

China's government hails a proposal of South Korea for North Korea to hold talks involving representatives of defense ministries to reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang told reporters on Monday.

The proposed legislation is also the latest sign the United States is no longer waiting for China to increase pressure on firms within its borders that have been engaged in either hiring North Korean workers or trading with Pyongyang.

Talks could be held in the village of Panmunjom, just on the North Korean side of the border, as soon as Friday, the ministry said, with the goal of ending "all acts of hostility" along the Military Demarcation Line that separates the two countries.

"I believe this is a great opportunity for me to hear from different authorities of this new government about their approach and their policies toward the human rights situation (in the North)", he said.

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.

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.

The last such reunions were held in 2015.

"North Korea should respond to our honest proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean peninsula", Cho Myoung-gyon, South Korea's minister for unification, said.

The proposal came in the wake of President Moon Jae-in's peace offers during his recent speech in Berlin, Germany.

The group proposed the family reunion to be held on October 4, in time for the Chuseok holiday, Korea's harvest festival. South Korea usually refers to loudspeaker propaganda broadcasts by both sides, while the North wants a halt to routine joint U.S.

Continued North Korea provocations, however, is pushing Washington toward stepping up unilateral sanctions, a move Beijing has opposed.

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.

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