ROK presses DPRK on di­a­logue pro­posal

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD -

SEOUL — The Repub­lic of Korea on Fri­day urged the Demo­cratic Peo­ple’s Repub­lic of Korea to make a pos­i­tive re­sponse to di­a­logue over­tures ear­lier this week to dis­cuss mil­i­tary and hu­man­i­tar­ian af­fairs.

ROK De­fense Min­istry spokesman Moon Sang-kyun said that de­fus­ing mil­i­tary ten­sions and restor­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels be­tween the mil­i­tary au­thor­i­ties was cru­cial for es­tab­lish­ing peace and sta­bil­ity in the Korean Penin­sula.

He urged the DPRK once again to rapidly make a pos­i­tive re­sponse to Seoul’s di­a­logue of­fer.

On Mon­day, the min­istry pro­posed to its DPRK coun­ter­part for hold­ing talks about mil­i­tary af­fairs on July 21 at Tongil­gak, in the DPRK side of Pan­munjom.

The di­a­logue pro­posal was aimed at stop­ping all hos­tile acts near the mil­i­tary de­mar­ca­tion line, which di­vides the two neigh­bors.

Py­ongyang, the spokesman said, had yet to give any re­sponse to the pro­posal un­til this morn­ing, mak­ing it im­pos­si­ble to hold the in­ter-Korean di­a­logue on Fri­day.

The min­istry said the mil­i­tary talks of­fer would be ef­fec­tive un­til July 27.

Sep­a­rately, Seoul of­fered on Mon­day to hold a Red Cross di­a­logue with its DPRK coun­ter­part for the re­union of fam­i­lies of the two neigh­bors, who had been sep­a­rated since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The di­a­logue on the hu­man­i­tar­ian af­fairs was pro­posed to be held on Aug 1 at the Peace House in the ROK side of Pan­munjom.

Py­ongyang had yet to give any re­ply.

Seoul’s di­a­logue of­fers were made as fol­low-up mea­sures to Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in’s Korean Penin­sula Peace Ini­tia­tive, which was an­nounced in his Ber­lin speech on July 6.

Dur­ing the speech, Moon pro­posed to the DPRK stop­ping all hos­tile acts near the MDL from July 27, which marks the 64th an­niver­sary of the ar­mistice end­ing the war.

Whether Py­ongyang would ac­cept Seoul’s di­a­logue over­tures re­mained un­cer­tain ahead of the an­nual ROK-US war game, code-named Ulchi Free­dom Guardian, sched­uled for next month.

The com­puter-as­sisted sim­u­la­tion ex­er­cise would re­port­edly kick off on Aug 21, which would be­come the first US-ROK joint mil­i­tary ex­er­cise un­der Monn’s govern­ment.

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