[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific

N Korea rejects Seoul's call for reunions

North says South Korea's joint military exercises with the US make the family reunions impossible.

Last updated: 09 Jan 2014 09:20
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback

Pyongyang has rejected a South Korean proposal for resuming reunions for families separated by the Korean War, citing Seoul's planned joint military exercises with the United States as a major barrier.

The North's main body for inter-Korean affairs said on Thursday that it would like to get the reunions going again, but questioned the South's sincerity.

"How could separated families comfortably meet for a reunion in the face of ceaseless war practices staged in the South?" the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea (CPRK) was quoted as saying by the North's official KCNA news agency.

Seoul responded by expressing "regret" that Pyongyang had sought to link a humanitarian issue with the joint military exercises the South conducts every year with the US.

Proposal

On Monday, Park Geun-Hye, South Korean president, had called for a reunion to be held around the time of the Lunar New Year on January 31.

In a press conference, Park said the reunion programme would provide new momentum to improving ties following years of high tensions.

A reunion had been scheduled for September last year, but Pyongyang cancelled it at the last minute, blaming "hostility" from South Korea.

"In contrast to our genuine efforts, press experts and even government officials in the South made rude comments and displayed bad behaviour," the CPRK recalled in its message on Thursday to the South's Unification Ministry.

Millions of Koreans were left separated by the Korean War, which sealed the peninsula's division. Most have died without having the chance to reunite with family members last seen six decades ago.

257

Source:
Al Jazeera And AFP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Nearly half of Canadians have suffered inappropriate advances on the job - and the political arena is no exception.
Featured
Women's rights activists are demanding change after Hanna Lalango, 16, was gang-raped on a bus and left for dead.
Buried in Sweden's northern forest, Sorsele has welcomed many unaccompanied kids who help stabilise a town exodus.
A look at the changing face of North Korea, three years after the death of 'Dear Leader'.
While some fear a Muslim backlash after café killings, solidarity instead appears to be the order of the day.
Victims spared by the deadly disease are reporting blindness and other unexpected post-Ebola health issues.