US Senators push for sanctions against those doing business with North Korea

South Korean soldier

South Korean soldier

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.

South Korea on Monday proposed military talks with North Korea this week, the first government-level talks since late 2015, in an effort to halt hostile activities near their joint border and after a series of missile tests by the North in recent weeks. The North cut communication across the MDL after the South had imposed economic sanctions in response to a northern nuclear test in 2016.

South Korea has sent a proposal to North Korea for talks on easing military tensions and the reunion of separated families, Seoul's Ministry of National Defense (MND) and the Red Cross said on Monday.

Mr. Moon proposed opening the talks with North Korea on July 21 in the border town of Tongilgak. Since he assumed office in May, South Korea's Liberal president has attempted to resume dialogue with Pyongayng.

European Union foreign affairs ministers on Monday said they considered imposing further sanctions on North Korea following its latest missile test. South Korean acting Red Cross chief Kim Sun Hyang told a news conference that it wants separate talks at the border village on August 1 to discuss family reunions.

"These negotiations could offer the prospect of engaging North Korea in line with global norms by ending horrific human rights abuses, including labour trafficking", he said.

During a period of detente from 1998 to 2008, there was a flurry of talks and exchange programs between the two Koreas.

The proceeds, in turn, help to fund Pyongyang's own weapons programs and the lavish lifestyle of North Korea's elite. For more details, we connect live with our Kim Hyesung at the Korean Red Cross in Seoul.

One possible sticking point is South Korea's idea that the talks would put an end to "hostile military activities", a term North and South Korea define very differently.

If held, it would be the first dialogue between the military authorities of the two sides in nearly three years.

The reunions are a highly emotional issue because most applicants are in their 70s or 80s and are desperate to see their loved ones before they die. Yet, 60-thousand South Koreans are waiting for a chance to meet their family members, and more than half are very elderly - in their 80s or older.

"Once that is established, then both sides can understand what the other is seeking".

North Korea blamed President Trump for encouraging the United Nations to impose additional sanctions.

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