North Korea has threatened to cancel a reunion for families separated by the Korean War, after “reckless” remarks by South Korean President Park Geun-Hye on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme and human rights record. They also agreed to hold the family reunion event. It went on to say that President Park’s speech, in the name of peace, reflected her ambition to reunify the Koreas by absorbing the North into the South with the help of foreign countries.
“We urge the North to immediately halt its unilateral claims, criticism and threats, and to conscientiously execute the August 25 agreement”, he added, referring to the breakthrough deal that brought the two Koreas from the brink of an armed confrontation.
Park also warned that if North Korea maintains its nuclear obsession, its isolation will further deepen and it will never develop economically.
South Korea’s “reckless” and “confrontational” behavior means that “the rare reunions of separated families are at stake like being on a thin ice”, a spokesman for the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland said in a statement.
In December 2012, North Korea successfully fired into orbit a long-range rocket carrying a satellite in what appeared to be a major leap forward in its ballistic missile program.
Despite the reconciliatory mood that followed the talks, North Korea said earlier this month that it would launch a rocket to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party.
To prevent the North’s provocations, Seoul has been stepping up its diplomacy through bilateral and multilateral high-level talks. Citing recent satellite imagery, 38 North, a North Korea monitoring website run by the John Hopkins U.S.-Korea Institute, said in a report that there’s no sign of preparations for the launch.
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Pyongyang’s official media monitored in Seoul, carried an article in the main newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, which said the expected satellite launch would come under their sacred right as a sovereign nation.
Yun and Kishida were to hold a separate bilateral meeting on Wednesday to further discuss their joint efforts to deter the North’s provocations, and other bilateral issues.