The latest in a series of moves by South Korea’s new government to try to seek diplomacy with their neighbors to the north, the defense ministry today announced a formal offer for direct talks between the two Koreas’ militaries, to be held on Friday in the truce village of Panmunjon, in the demilitarized zone.
Deputy Defense Minister Seo Joo-seok said the talks would be aimed at ending “hostile acts” between the two sides, and to try to secure a mutual guarantee not to make any provocations along the demarcation line ahead of next week’s 64th anniversary of the Korean War truce.
Such talks have been a priority for President Moon Jae-in since his election earlier this summer, though President Trump has been critical of the notion of diplomacy in general and has been seen trying to get South Korea to commit to supporting the US stance.
North Korea, for its part, has yet to respond to the offer for talks. The short period of time between today’s proposal and the talks themselves may well be designed to get a quick commitment, as well as to get the talks in process before the US can do anything to derail them.