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S. Korea seeks high-profile joint military committee with N. Korea

South Korea's defense ministry plans to propose to North Korea that vice minister-level officials head a joint military committee to be formed to carry out a set of tension reduction measures agreed to at last month's summit, officials said on Oct. 24, 2018.

The South will put forward details of its offer, including the level of the co-chair of the envisioned panel, when their Army generals meet each other at Panmunjom on Oct. 26, 2018.

A combined file photo of South Korean Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk (left) and North Korea's Army Gen. So Hong-chan, who serves as the first vice minister of the People's Armed Forces

"We will discuss the formation and operation of the joint military committee during the general-level talks," the ministry official said.

The committee would be in charge of overseeing the implementation of a set of tension-reducing measures in the Sept. 19 Comprehensive Military Agreement (CMA).

The South will recommend Vice Defense Minister Suh Choo-suk as its top delegate to the committee. It hopes that his counterpart will be Army Gen. So Hong-chan, first vice minister of the People's Armed Forces.

It remains uncertain whether the North will choose So, as he also serves as director of the military's general logistics department, a post not directly related to military diplomacy or inter-Korean relations.

Kim Hyong-ryong, another vice defense minister, is in charge of the issue. But he is a three-star general, which may cause a controversy over the formal status of Suh's counterpart.

The two Koreas first agreed to create such a joint military committee in 1992, but they have yet to launch it amid tumultuous inter-Korean ties. (Yonhap)

Shin Jin-seon  edt@koeapost.com

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