EU Weighs New N.Korea Sanctions After Missile Test

EU Weighs New N.Korea Sanctions After Missile Test

Seoul wants to have the meeting at Tongilgak, a North Korean building in the truce village of Panmunjom, the South Korean Ministry of National Defence said on Monday (17 July).

South Korea proposes talks with Pyongyang.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), a state-controlled company, halted diesel and gasoline sales to North Korea "over the last month or two", amid worldwide pressure on Pyongyang to curb its nuclear and missile programmes, Reuters exclusively reported on June 28.

Less than two weeks after President Moon Jae-in described a vision for inter-Korean peace during a speech in Berlin, the South Korean government formally asked North Korea on Monday to hold military talks at the end of this week and discuss a reunion for families next month who were separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korea has suggested holding a meeting on Friday in the so-called Joint Security Area in the Korean Demilitarised zone, the de-facto border between the two countries, according to Deputy Defence Minister Suh Choo-suk.

But analysts say North Korea may accept the defense talks because it wants the South Korean army to halt loudspeaker broadcasts at the border that began after North Korea's fourth nuclear test in January 2016. "The last such reunions were almost two years ago".

But Pyongyang has staged a series of missile launches in violation of United Nations resolutions - most recently on July 4, when it test-fired its first ICBM, a move which triggered global alarm and a push by United States President Donald Trump to impose harsher UN sanctions.

But limits to the USA ability to persuade the rest of the world to treat North Korea's weapons program more harshly were also on display after the latest missile test. Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, called an emergency hearing of the Security Council after the launch, where she said a unified worldwide community could cut off hard currency, restrict the flow of oil and boost air and maritime restrictions on Pyongyang.

"We hope that North and South Korea can work hard to go in a positive direction and create conditions to break the deadlock and resume dialogue and consultation", Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told a daily news briefing.

The Red Cross has proposed the reunions for October, during the Chuseok holiday. 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.

"North Korea should respond to our honest proposals if it really seeks peace on the Korean Peninsula", Seoul's Unification Minister in charge of North Korea affairs Cho Myoung Gyon said. But the North might set a precondition for the talks, such as a suspension of annual South Korean-U.S. military drills that it views as an invasion rehearsal, according to Koh Yu-hwan, a professor at Seoul's Dongguk University. Since no truce was agreed, the two sides remain technically at war.

North Korea has not responded to the South's proposal yet.

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