North Korea issues warning over South reunions

6 February 2014 15:28
(QHA) -

North Korea is threatening to cancel its just-announced family reunions with the South if Seoul and Washington go ahead with upcoming joint military drills, VOA reports.

The threat comes a day after Pyongyang and Seoul agreed to hold reunions later this month between families separated by the 1950s Korean War, in a rare sign of inter-Korean cooperation.

On state television Thursday, the North's National Defense Commission was quoted as saying the war drills are incompatible with improved inter-Korean relations, stating, "We're clearly stating that dialogue and invasive war practices can never co-exist, just as reconciliation and conflict can't [co-exist]."

Since the family reunions began in 2000, about 18,000 Koreans have been temporarily reunited.

However, many more Koreans, many of whom are aging, are anxious for the program to resume, as they are unable even to exchange letters or phone calls with their relatives.

If this month's reunions take place, they will be held from February 20-25 at the Mount Kumgang resort on North Korea's east coast.