South Korean President Moon Jae-In calls for rare talks with North

Trucks move across the bridge linking North Korea with the Chinese border city of Dandong

South Korea proposed resuming some military and humanitarian exchanges with North Korea as President Moon Jae-in seeks to follow through on campaign pledges to pursue dialogue with Kim Jong Un.

The South Korean defence ministry proposed talks with the North on July 21st at Tongilgak - a North Korean building at the Panmunjom truce village on the border used for previous inter-Korea talks - to stop all activities that fuel tension at the military demarcation line.

Separately, the Red Cross raised the possibility of a meeting with its North Korean counterpart on August 1 to discuss possible family reunions to coincide with shared holidays October 4.

"Talks and cooperation between the two Koreas to ease tension and bring about peace on the Korean peninsula will be instrumental for pushing forth a mutual, virtuous cycle for inter-Korea relations and North Korea's nuclear problem", the South's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon told a news briefing.

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After the North announced the successful launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, Harris said it is getting "closer to being able to deliver a nuclear-equipped missile" to the US mainland. The announcements came after North Korea signaled a willingness to consider Moon's overtures, despite voicing skepticism about the prospects for a breakthrough.

A mock North Korea's Scud-B missile, center left, and other South Korean missiles are displayed at Korea War Memorial Museum in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, July 17, 2017.

The Red Cross said it hoped for "a positive response" from its counterpart in the North, hoping to hold family reunions in early October. The last government-level talks were held in December 2015. It was the Moon government's first formal proposal for talks with North Korea since its May 10 inauguration. South Korea and the United States, its main ally, dispute the claim. During that period, two liberal South Korean presidents went to Pyongyang and held landmark summit talks with then-leader Kim Jong Il, the father of current North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un. Analysts say the ICBM that was tested could reach Alaska. Ruler Kim Jong-Un has said he would not give up nuclear ambitions until the U.S. ceases its hostility towards Pyongyang. 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.

The last time the two Koreas held a military consultation was in 2014.

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