Seoul’s peace pitch to North: Stop with the provocations and we’ll come up for talks

by WorldTribune Staff, August 10, 2017

The South Korean government, at the risk of sounding delusional, weighed in with its proposal for easing the mounting crisis with North Korea.

Bilateral talks are still possible if North Korea immediately halts its “repeated provocations and threats,” South Korea’s National Security Council (NSC) said on Aug. 10.

Chung Eui-Yong, chairman of the National Security Council, listens as President Moon Jae-In speaks during an Aug. 10 meeting. / Yonhap

“The NSC called on the North to immediately stop all activities that will further escalate tension on the Korean Peninsula,” said Park Soo-Hyun, spokesman for the South Korean presidential Blue House.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In’s administration had earlier proposed holding military and Red Cross talks with North Korea, but the Kim Jong-Un regime did not even respond.

The NSC’s call came hours after the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) released a statement from the commander of Pyongyang’s rocket forces that said the Kim Jong-Un regime plans to launch four intermediate- or long-range ballistic missiles that will cross over Japan and hit waters 30 or 40 kilometers from the U.S. territory of Guam.

According to a Yonhap report, the NSC meeting “involved all top security-related government officials, including both defense and foreign ministers, as well as the head of the National Intelligence Service.”

The NSC standing committee “decided to take active diplomatic measures to help ease tension while keeping the country’s door for dialogue with North Korea open,” Park said.

South Korea and the North technically remain at war as the Korean War ended only with an armistice, not a peace treaty.

Meanwhile, Seoul Mayor Park Won-Soon on Aug. 10 suggested that he visit Pyongyang as part of efforts to bolster exchanges between the two cities that could eventually lead to unification.

“I want to visit Pyongyang at an appropriate time so as to play the role of manure for unification,” the mayor said. “City exchanges between Seoul and Pyongyang could provide us with a chance to open up an era of unification.”

Seoul’s mayor, who is seen as a potential presidential candidate, expressed clear opposition to the North’s nuclear program.

“Nuclear weapons cannot be tolerated under any circumstances,” he said. “I condemn the nuclear tests and missile provocations that North Korea has been carrying out as if it’s unbridled.”

Still, Park said his is ready to provide a blueprint for exchanges between Seoul and Pyongyang, Yonhap reported.

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