PN's Voice 122

Peace Network Korea
PN's Voice 122, 20.07.2017
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PN's Voice No. 122,  20. 07. 2017 
Small steps, Road to peace

South Korea Proposes Rare Military Talks with North Korea

South Korea has proposed holding military talks with the North, after weeks of heightened tension following Pyongyang's long-range missile test. If they were to go ahead, they would be the first high-level talks since 2015. A senior official said talks should aim to stop "all hostile activities that raise military tension" at the fortified border between the Koreas.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in has long signaled he wants closer engagement with the North. In a recent speech in Berlin, Mr Moon said dialogue with the North was more pressing than ever and called for a peace treaty to be signed. He said such dialogue was crucial for those who seek the end of Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme. However, the North's frequent missile tests, including the most recent one of an intercontinental ballistic missile, are in consistent violation of UN resolutions and have alarmed its neighbours and the US.
South Korea's Vice Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk told a media briefing “We expect a positive response from the North." While South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon also urged the restoration of communication hotlines between the two Koreas, cut last year after a North Korean nuclear test.
Source : BBC News, The Guardian

Ministry Awaits N. Korea's Response to Dialogue Offer

South Korea's defense ministry said Thursday it's still waiting for North Korea's response to its recent proposal for military talks on easing border tension. On Monday, the ministry suggested a bilateral meeting be held on Friday at the truce village of Panmunjom in what would be the first inter-Korean military talks in nearly three years. "There is no response from North Korea yet in connection with military talks. We are waiting for a positive reply," the ministry's spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said at a press briefing. "We will have to wait till the afternoon today. We are making working preparations (for talks) without a problem."
Source : Yonhap News

CNN: N. Korea Preparing for Possible Missile Test in 2 Weeks

CNN says that North Korea appears to be preparing for another intercontinental ballistic missile(ICBM) or intermediate range ballistic missile(IRBM) test. Quoting U.S. officials familiar with the latest intelligence, CNN reported on Wednesday that there are indicators of test preparations that could lead to a potential launch in about two weeks. The officials reportedly said that U.S. satellites have detected new imagery and satellite-based radar emissions indicating North Korea may be testing components and missile control facilities for another ICBM or IRBM launch. The officials said that the North is also continuing to test components to launch a missile from a submarine but the U.S. intelligence assessment is that the program remains in its early stages.
Source : KBS News, CNN News

U.S. Leaves North Korea off its List of State of Sponsors of Terrorism

The U.S. has left North Korea off its latest list of state of sponsors of terrorism, despite considerations to re-designate the regime. The U.S. State Department on Wednesday issued its Country Reports on Terrorism 2016, which listed Iran, Sudan and Syria as the only three state sponsors of terrorism for the second year in a row, but excluded North Korea. The North has been left off the list for nine straight years since 2008. Washington placed the North on its State Sponsors of Terrorism list in 1987 for the bombing of Korean Air Flight 858, but the George W. Bush administration removed it in November 2008 for meeting nuclear inspection requirements.
Source : KBS News

N.K. Dismisses S. Korea's Wish for Better Ties as 'Nonsense'

North Korea said Thursday that it is nonsense for South Korea to hope to improve inter-Korean ties while taking a confrontational policy against the North without giving up its dependence on the United States. The North's comments came four days after Seoul proposed holding inter-Korean military talks on Friday to ease tensions along the tense border and Red Cross talks on Aug. 1 to resume reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. Rodong Sinmun, North Korea's main newspaper, called on South Korea to make a decision over whether to stick to its confrontational policy and submission to the U.S. "Ditching confrontation and hostility is a precondition for opening the door for the two Koreas' reconciliation and unity," the newspaper said.
Source : Yonhap News

Asahi: Kim Jong-un Ordered Officials to Push US into Peace Treaty

A Japanese newspaper has reported that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ordered his officials to pressure the U.S. into signing a peace treaty using their recently launched intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) as a political leverage. The Asahi Shimbun on Wednesday quoted a source with knowledge of North Korean affairs as saying that Kim gave directions to accomplish a peace treaty by pressing the U.S. to reach the conclusion that it is impossible to have the North abandon its nuclear program. The source claimed the regime leader's instructions were sent to the North’s overseas diplomatic missions. It is believed the directive was disseminated earlier this month during the G-20 summit in Germany.
Source : KBS News

Recent Peace Network Publications

Wooksik Cheong, the director of Peace Network, recently wrote a short essay on options available for dealing with North Korea. The essay focuses on the need for a peace treaty and also the need to cut off oil supply to the North. You can access the essay at the link below. Additionally, you can access the latest episode of Peace Network’s English podcast below:
Source : Wooksik Cheong's Essay on Options for Dealing with North Korea,
Peace Network's English Podcast - Episode 5

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