Meanwhile, President Park said on Monday that Seoul would fully support North Korea in developing its economy and improving the quality of life of its people if the regime abandons its nuclear program. Pyongyang has a lengthy track record of manipulating the divided families’ issue for political purposes, refusing proposals for regular reunions and cancelling scheduled events over a few perceived slight.
“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.
South Korea and North Korea have agreed to hold the family reunion event from October 20 to 26 in the scenic resort of Mount Kumgang in North Korea.
North Korea on Tuesday indicated it may cancel the upcoming reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War if South Korean authorities keep making “reckless” efforts to stop the North from conducting a satellite launch and a nuclear test.
Representatives from the Federation of Korean Trade Unions and the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions met with their North Korean counterparts in the North’s border city of Kaesong to set details over their football games, according to the Unification Ministry.
The two Koreas agreed to hold the reunions for 100 separated families each from both sides, keeping up a conciliatory mood after defusing a tense military standoff last month.
There is speculation that North Korea could launch a long-range rocket in October to put a satellite into orbit as part of its celebrations of 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.
In a joint statement from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, Yun said Japan’s exercise of its right to self-defense should be carried out in a manner that respects Seoul’s sovereignty.
After the trilateral meeting among the foreign ministers of South Korea, the USA and Japan in New York on Tuesday, the top diplomats warned that the North would face stronger global sanctions should it launch additional provocations.