Seoul has proposed rare military talks to North Korea for as early as this week, saying that the negotiations may “ease tensions” and establish long-awaited peace on the Korean Peninsula, where the states are technically still at war with each other.
“Talks and cooperation between the two Koreas to ease tension and bring about peace on the Korean Peninsula will be instrumental for pushing forth a mutual, virtuous cycle for inter-Korea relations and North Korea’s nuclear problem,” the South’s Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said at a news briefing on Monday, as cited by Reuters.
국방부는 오늘(7.17.) “군사분계선에서 군사적 긴장을 고조시키는 일체의 적대행위를 중지시키기 위한 남북군사당국 회담을 7월 21일 판문점 북측 지역 통일각에서 개최할 것을 북측에 제의”하였습니다. pic.twitter.com/fDqiMetsRh
— 국방부 트위터 대변인 (@ROK_MND) July 17, 2017
The South Korean Defense Ministry proposed negotiations with Pyongyang on July 21. The talks may be held at Tongilgak, a building at the Panmunjom truce village in North Korea, which was previously used for negotiations between the sides.
The last time talks between Seoul and Pyongyang took place, was in December 2015.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who took office in May this year, has repeatedly vowed to offer a more active diplomatic approach towards North Korea centered on more open dialogue with Pyongyang.
The former human rights lawyer has even said he was ready to travel to his isolated neighbor if it meant ending the decades-long standoff.
“I am willing to go anywhere for the peace of the Korean Peninsula if needed,” Moon said at his formal oath-taking ceremony.