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Chinese Customs reports imports drop from North Korea
17 July 2017, 04:30 | Bernard Bryant
North Korea's multiple missile tests in recent months, culminating with its first-ever successful launch last week of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching Alaska, has alarmed the global community and presented Trump's first major foreign policy test.
South Korea has offered to talk with North Korea to ease animosities along their tense border and resume reunions of families separated by their war in the 1950s.
Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk said in a statement at the defense ministry that South Korea proposed to the DPRK for holding talks of the military authorities Friday at Tongilgak, a building in the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjom.
China imported only 2.67 million metric tons of coal from North Korea in the first half of this year, a year-on-year drop of 74.5 percent, Huang noted.
It is unclear if North Korea would agree to the proposed talks as it remains suspicious of the South Korean president's overtures, seeing the new leader's more liberal policy as still resorting to the United States to force North Korea to disarm. The last such talks were held in December 2015.
In his Berlin speech, Moon also proposed holding Red Cross talks with the DPRK for the reunion of separate families of the two sides on October 4 that marks the 10th anniversary of the October 4 joint declaration and also the traditional Chuseok holiday.
The proposals come after Moon said at the G20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month that he was in favor of dialogue with the North despite the "nuclear provocation" of its latest missile test.
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I need things to go my way, I need people not to get in lucky breakaways and this little bug I've got can't develop into anything. There was a true feeling that the race was going to spin out of control.
The Koreas last convened for military talks in late 2014.
Primary users of fuel products in North Korea include fishermen, farmers, truckers and the military.
While Seoul will be hoping to discourage maritime border incursions and the North's alleged use of spy drones, Pyongyang has been also unhappy about South Korea's attempts to penetrate the reclusive state with propaganda broadcasts across the border.
Moon has suggested hostile military activities be halted at the inter-Korean border on July 27, the anniversary of the 1953 armistice agreement that ended the Korean War.
Pyongyang has repeatedly said it refuses to engage in all talks with the South unless Seoul turns over 12 waitresses who defected to the South past year after leaving a restaurant run by the North in China.
South Korea and the United States dispute the claim. Analysts say the ICBM that was tested could reach Alaska.
In an act to rein in the North, the United States is preparing new sanctions on Chinese banks and firms doing business with Pyongyang possibly within weeks, two senior US officials said last week.
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