S. Korea urges North to agree to reunions

Jan. 11, 2014 at 1:33 PM

SEOUL, Jan. 11 (UPI) -- Seoul has called on Pyongyang to accept its offer of holding reunions for families separated by the Korean War later this month.

North Korea on Thursday rejected a proposal from the South that the reunions take place during the Lunar New Year, citing South Korea's annual joint military exercises with the United States, Yonhap News Agency reported.

On Friday, South Korea urged the North to reconsider and take steps toward improving inter-Korean relations.

"We urge North Korea to show a sincere attitude toward our offer," said Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do.

Meanwhile, the North indicated that the reunions may take place in "a good season," and called for talks on resuming South Korea's tour program to Mount Kumgang, a mountain resort on the east coast of North Korea.

The South suspended the tours in 2008 when a South Korean tourist was fatally shot by a North Korean soldier. The tours were a major source of revenue for the North.

Kim said discussions on restarting the tours could happen, but separately from talks on reunions.

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