Petraeus Sees Tougher North Korea Sanctions Pushing Kim to Talks


South Korea proposed on Monday talks with the North to ease tensions on the peninsula after the successful shot of a missile intercontinental by Pyongyang.

The United States in May asked Southeast Asian countries to do more to isolate North Korea, and efforts have increased after its July 4 ballistic missile test. FILE - In this October 22, 2015, file photo, North Korean Son Kwon Geun, center, weeps with his South Korean relatives as he bids farewell after the Separated Family Reunion Meeting at Diamond Mountain resort in North Kore.

The South Korean defence ministry has proposed talks with the North on 21 July at Tongilgak to stop all activities that fuel tension at the military demarcation line.

The acting Red Cross chief, Kim Sun-hyang, said the talks would be held on August 1 at Panmunjom, which is in the buffer zone between the countries.

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Cho also urged the restoration of military and government hotlines across the border, which had been cut by the North past year in response to the South imposing economic sanctions after a nuclear test by Pyongyang.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met with the UN's point man on North Korea's human rights situation and discussed cooperation on the issue.

South Korea offered to hold rare military talks with the North, aiming to ease tensions after Pyongyang tested its first intercontinental ballistic missile. Ties between the Koreas have plunged over the North's expanding missile and nuclear programs and the hard-line policies of Moon's conservative predecessors.

Washington has also called on China, the North's sole ally, to put more pressure on Pyongyang to rein in its nuclear ambitions, which have advanced rapidly under the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

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"The last such reunions were almost two years ago". It was the Moon government's first formal proposal for talks with North Korea since its May 10 inauguration.

This test, which is closer to Pyongyang of its objective, which is to be in a position to threaten the u.s. territory of the nuclear fire, has led to strong condemnations around the world and new efforts from the White House to toughen the worldwide sanctions.

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

Kim Hyun-wook, a professor at the Seoul-based Korea National Diplomatic Academy, expressed doubt that the talks proposed Monday would lead to a breakthrough since North Korea has made clear it's not interested in denuclearization and President Donald Trump's administration is moving forward with sanctions.

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The ministry, which gave no agenda for the talks, said it was still waiting for an answer from Pyongyang.