Pyongyang proposes end to all military hostilitiesUpdated: 2014-07-01 06:27:32 (KST)
No military provocations from either North or South Korea starting at midnight this Friday, July 4th: that was the proposal made by the North's National Defense Commission.
Pyongyang's top military body also called on both sides to stop slandering each other.
The statement makes specific mention of South Korea's joint military drills with the United States, dubbed the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercises, scheduled to begin this August, and calls for them to be halted while the 2014 Asian Games are taking place in the South Korean port city of Incheon.
The North has previously said it would send athletes to the event, which runs from September 19th to October 4th.
Experts say Monday's offer had Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to the South later this week in mind.
"With President Xi's visit to Seoul, the North is trying to put the blame on the South for not expressing its will to ameliorate the stalled inter-Korean relationship. Pyongyang is also showing its discontent over the continuous joint military exercises between Seoul and Washington, by mentioning the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian drills."
Other experts see the North's offer as a conciliatory gesture, pointing out that it uses softer language than past offers of the same ilk.
They also cited the timing of the proposal, as it coincides with a joint communique agreed upon by the North and South on July 4th, 1972, which outlined the steps for achieving a peaceful reconciliation.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News.
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