Earlier this month South Korea proposed military talks with the North. The formal initiative from Seoul's new government could lead to the first high-level discussions between the rival states since 2015.
North and South Korea are technically still at war, but as North Korea leader Kim Jong Un speeds up his missile tests, Southern President Moon Jae-in wants to persuade Pyongyang to revive a "sunshine" era of talks from the early 2000s. Skeptical media and analysts have dubbed his efforts "moonshine."
|South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Photo: RT
A Reuters analysis of South Korean unification ministry data shows how in five decades of relations between North and South, communication has rarely been so barren. (tmsnrt.rs/2t8i6no)
Changes in relations between North and South have hitherto largely been driven by politics in the democratic South, where some new administrations have rapidly overturned their predecessors' policies, the data shows.
North Korea has remained relatively consistent, but its banned nuclear and missile programs have slowed dialogue efforts.
If fresh talks do go ahead, they could lead to the first reunions of a small number of families still separated by the Korean War this October when both Koreas celebrate Chuseok, a national holiday of thanksgiving.
North Korea has not yet officially responded to the proposal from the South.Reuters