US North Korea sanctions bill targets Chinese garment firm

Elias Hubbard
July 18, 2017

"So far", Elise adds, "the North has not responded to the offer from Seoul".

Chances for talks on family reunions are slimmer as North Korea has already made it clear that it won't agree to a fresh reunion program unless Seoul returns some of the North Korean defectors living in the South who it says were abducted by South Korean agents.

There was no immediate response by the North to the proposal for talks later this week.

South Korea is willing to put North's first intercontinental ballistic missile test aside and work together with the DPRK to ease heightening tensions and resume reuniting families who were separated by their war in the 1950s, according to Fox news. The biggest factor in Seoul's rush to propose military talks with Pyongyang appears to be its sense that time is of the essence.

In a statement, Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo Suk said on Monday, that the South's defense officials are proposing talks to be held at the border village of Panmunjom on Friday aimed at ending hostile activities along the border.

Maruyama explained that raising pressure now is essential "in order to be able to conduct a serious dialogue" with North Korea in the future. The December 2015 talks at a now-stalled joint factory park in North Korea ended with no breakthroughs.

The South Korean Red Cross suggested talks be held on August 1, with possible reunions over the Korean thanksgiving Chuseok holiday, which falls in October this year.

Last week during a trip to Berlin, Moon delivered a speech in which he stressed the importance of dialogue in the face of increasing tensions and the North's nuclearisation. The North recently voiced suspicion over Moon's North Korea policy, and some conservatives in South Korea worry that his overture might weaken worldwide pressure on North Korea.

U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., stated last Thursday the North Korean Enablers Accountability Act, would "ban any entity that does business with North Korea or its enablers.and to impose U.S. sanctions on all those participating on North Korean labor trafficking abuses".

The two Koreas restarted Cold War-era psychological warfare after the North's fourth nuclear test in January 2016.

When asked if South Korea was willing to "be flexible" on military drills with the United States should North Korea be open to talks, Cho said the government had not discussed the matter specifically. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago".

Pyongyang has repeatedly said it refuses to engage in all talks with the South unless Seoul turns over 12 waitresses who defected to the South past year after leaving a restaurant run by the North in China.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER