South Korea proposes military talks to North Korea
Updated: 2017-07-18 04:13:28 KST
South Korea's Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk proposed on Monday inter-Korean military talks as a way to reduce tensions along the heavily-fortified border.
"The Ministry of National Defense proposes inter-Korean military talks at Panmunjom on July 21st at the North Korean building of Tongilgak. The talks will be aimed at reducing military tensions along the border and halting all hostilities."
The proposal is a follow up to President Moon Jae-in's speech earlier this month in Berlin, in which he laid out his vision for bringing peace to the peninsula.
The proposal aims to mutually halt acts of hostility along the border as of July 27 which is the 64th anniversary of the Armistice Treaty that ended the three-year Korean War in a ceasefire in 1953.
""To achieve denuclearization on the peninsula, reducing military tensions is a must. Then we need to gain trust from the North or else it would be impossible to resolve nuclear and missile issues. The military talks could be used as a stepping stone for progress."
The ministry requested Pyongyang respond to its offer through the newly-restored western border military hotline.
If held, the meeting would mark the 40th meeting since 2000 and the first military dialogue between the two countries since October of 2014
Experts believe Seoul could agree to turn off the propaganda loudspeakers installed along the border and end its anti-North Korean regime leaflet drops.
On the North Korean side, they are likely to demand a halt to the joint military drills between Seoul and Washington for the talks to resume.
"Most watchers say there's a good chance North Korea will agree to hold the talks, but it may propose another date. not July 21st as the South suggested."
Kim Hyun-bin, Arirang News.