“We must no longer use political and military reasons as excuses for turning a blind eye to humanitarian issues, such as reunion of separated families in particular”, Park said.
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. The passage of a South Korea bill addressing North Korean human rights, however, could lead to the desired changes, and pave the way for a peaceful reunification, according to Halvorssen, because it would allow for support of defector organizations and the education of South Koreans on issues in the North.
“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.
Recently, North Korea has ratcheted up the rhetoric regarding its missile and nuclear weapons programs.
“(The efforts for) reunions of separated families are precarious”.
There was no immediate response from Cheong Wa Dae.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Beijing is opposed to “any actions that might cause tension in the Korean Peninsula or violate United Nations Security Council resolutions”, in an apparent warning to its ally.
After marathon talks, the two sides agreed to withdraw military alert and hold an inter-governmental dialogue in Seoul or Pyongyang at an earliest possible date.
This month the North vowed to send satellites into orbit, while also announcing the restart of operations at its main nuclear complex, fueling concerns that the authoritarian state is set to carry out a long-range rocket launch or nuclear test. 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.
South Korean news network YTN reported Pyongyang did not mention Park by name, but instead said the “individual in power in the South” had committed habitual slander about a “common people” before foreign member-sates. The meetings are scheduled to be held at North Korea’s Mount Kumgang rResort from October 20th to the 26th.