Seoul proposes military talks with Pyongyang

China says trade with North Korea up 10.5 per cent in first half

China says trade with North Korea up 10.5 per cent in first half

The government is likely North Korea's largest user of fuel products, but most petrol and diesel bought by ordinary citizens comes from private dealers and smugglers, experts say.

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 President Donald Trump to impose harsher United Nations sanctions on the country. While not elaborating on these "hostile" activities he has previously called for an end to the provocative messages played via loudspeaker through the DMZ.

South Korea's Red Cross proposed separate talks be held in an effort to reunite families separated by the border.

The broadcasts resumed in response to North Korea's nuclear test in January past year and box-mine attacks along the DMZ that maimed two South Korean soldiers.

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The government on Monday asked North Korea for talks between military and Red Cross officials.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump has launched an investigation into a Chinese trading company over illicit dealings with North Korea, which continues its nuclear and missile development programs.

Cho urged the restoration of military and government hotlines across the border, which had been cut by the DPRK past year in response to South Korea's imposing economic sanctions after a nuclear test by Pyongyang. During his earlier statements, it reportedly seemed that Mattis suggested the US will take greater action against Kim Jong-un's recent military buildup.

Contact between the two Koreas has been suspended since December 2015, and of course some kind of cross-border communication needs to resume.

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Still, the paper expressed "relief" that Moon has signaled a departure from the policies of his conservative predecessors. The United States and assorted allies have responded with strongly worded statements and a show of symbolic military force. Prospects for talks on family reunions are less good because North Korea has previously demanded that South Korea repatriate some North Korean defectors living in the South before any reunions take place, according to the analysts.

The last time the arch-rivals held military-level talks to ease tensions was in 2014 but they failed to reach an agreement then.

The Koreas have largely been on speaking terms since the latest crisis broke out in January 2016 when the North conducted its fourth nuclear test, which was followed by a fifth in September and dozens of missile tests in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions that ban its use of ballistic technology.

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