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Red Cross Conference cancelled due to cold response from the North

Red Cross Conference cancelled due to cold response from the North

Posted July. 22, 2017 07:14,   

Updated July. 22, 2017 07:31


As South Korea's official proposal to hold Red Cross Conference with North Korea encountered indifference from Pyongyang, the Ministry of National Defense of South Korea repeatedly urged swift response from the North again on Friday.

“It is really urgent to ease military tension between South and North Korea and recover dialogue channels on military issues,” defense ministry spokesperson Moon Sang-gyun said during his announcement on proposal of bilateral military conference on Friday. "We once again urge the North to quickly respond to the proposal as soon as possible. South Korea proposed on July 17 to hold a bilateral military conference at the northern zone of Tongilgak at Panmunjeom on Friday to cease any hostile action at the Military Demarcation Line (DML). Still, the conference will not be held due to no response from the North.”

The South Korean ministry requested North Korea to respond to the request to restore the military communication line at the West Sea by Friday, but it has yet to receive any feedback. “The proposal is effective until July 27(Armistice Day) proposed by President Moon Jae-in to cease any hostile action at MDL,” explained the defense ministry spokesman. “There are no plans for an additional proposal as long as Pyeongyang announces no official statement," unification ministry spokesperson Lee Yoo-jin said.

Some experts point out that the current administration’s policy stance towards North Korea has more to lose than gain. “The administration proposed a meeting at a time when possibilities are scarce,” Korean Peninsular Future Forum Chairman Cheon Young-woo said. "The proposal was seen (by the international community) as an insulting begging by an idle government.” Professor Min Byung-won at Ewha Woman' University expressed concerns, saying, “Pyongyang will demand even more when Seoul suddenly presents them with gifts.”

“The Moon Jae-in administration has clearly conveyed its message to the world that South Korea is on top of the North Korean issue," said Professor Cho Dong-ho at Ewha Womans' University. Professor Yang Moo-jin at the University of North Korean Studies also eval‎uated the recent proposal, saying that the offer itself is all the more meaningful in a way that President Moon’s will reflects in his "Berlin Initiative" was put into action throughout the relevant ministries.