4. S.Korea persists with talks proposal
South Korea has left the door open to Pyongyang for military talks after the North ignored a proposal for this week.
The South suggested on Monday that inter-Korean talks between military officials take place at the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday.
South Korea's Defense Ministry spokesman Moon Sang-gyun said at a news conference on Friday that the proposal was a practical impossiblity because Pyongyang had failed to respond.
But he renewed a call for the North to quickly accept the overture, saying talks were urgently needed to ease military tension and bring peace and stability to the peninsula.
Earlier this month, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in suggested that he hopes to suspend hostile activities in the demilitarized zone between the two sides from July 27th. The day marks the 64th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.
The South's Defense Ministry proposed the military talks in line with Moon's pledge to engage Pyongyang in dialogue.
Also on Friday, a spokesman for South Korea's Unification Ministry held a news conference, asking the North to agree to a meeting about the reunion of families separated by the Korean War.
South Korean Red Cross officials have proposed working-level talks for the separated families on August 1st, also at Panmunjom.