North Korea Rejects the Korean Government's Proposal for the Reunion of the Separated Families
The Korean government considers the suffering of the separated families a top humanitarian issue to be addressed between the two Koreas and has continued to exert efforts for solutions.
Accordingly, the government sent a notice of the chairman of the 'Republic of Korea National Red Cross' to the chairman of the 'Central Committee of the DPRK Red Cross Society' on August 8th, 15:40 P.M. underlining the significance of resuming family reunions during this year's Chuseok holidays. To this end, the Korean government proposed a Red Cross working-level meeting to be held in Gaeseong or Munsan on August 17th.
However, the North Korean counterpart responded by transmitting a notice on August 9th, 15:50 P.M. which stated that South Korea should first lift the 'May 24th Measures' and open up the tour paths to Mt. Geumgang as a precondition for the reunions.
The Korean government expresses deep regret that the North has practically rejected our proposal linking the issue of the separated families to irrelevant matters such as the ‘May 24th Measures’ and resumption of the Mt. Geumgang tour.
The government has consistently reaffirmed that our initial proposal made on February 14th remains valid. Moreover, the notice sent to the North Korean counterpart this time was made in the form of a direct proposal for a working-level contact based on the recognition that the 'February 14th Proposal' is still effective. Such government stance had already been announced by the Minister of Unification over several occasions including at the National Assembly.
Furthermore, the South Korean government has numerously stated that the issues of the 'May 24th Measures' and resumption of the Mt. Geumgang tour can be discussed at the dialogue table.
Even though North Korea rejected our proposal, the Korean government maintains its firm stance that tending the separated families issue is a top priority and will continue to work to this end.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Unification