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Unification Spokesperson’s Statement refuting statement by North Korea’s ‘Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland’


*Unofficial Translation

Press Release
Unification Spokesperson’s Statement refuting statement by North Korea’s ‘Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland’
September 21, 2013
  •  This morning North Korea announced through the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland Spokesperson’s Statement that it will unilaterally postpone the impending family reunions, which was supposed to be held from 9.25 to 9.30 at Mount Geumgang according to the agreement made by South-North Red Cross.
  •  It is deeply regrettable that North Korea unilaterally put off the family reunions just four days before the event, which has been prepared on a purely humanitarian basis to help heal our people’s anguish of separation.
-           Two days ago, one of the separated families from the South set to take part at the upcoming reunion passed away and three others had to give up their participation due to their aggravating health. As such, reunion of the elderly separated families is an urgent matter.
-           North Korea’s postponement of the separated family reunions shattered the thrill and hopes of about 200 separated families overnight who were eagerly anticipating meeting their long lost kin. North Korea should be criticized for its inhumane behavior which broke the hearts of all separated families and our people.
  • Above all, North Korea’s postponement of a humanitarian issue like the separated family reunions for political reasons cannot be justified under any circumstances.
-           Particularly, North Korea is referring to the ‘rebellion conspiracy issue’ for delaying the separated family reunions. We would like to know North Korea’s true intention of relating the case of an anti-national action that disregarded our Constitution, currently under investigation according to due legal procedures, to South-North Korea relations.
-           The North is stating that it will not sit and watch ‘pro-unification patriots’ being suppressed. Does this mean that the North has the so-called ‘pro-unification patriots’ in South Korea and is controlling them by giving commands?
-           The R.O.K. government and our people will handle the matter firmly to defend the free democratic system.
  •  Our government has repeatedly emphasized that South-North Korea relations should be normalized by acknowledging agreements and building trust under mutual recognition and spirit of peace.
-           Nevertheless, the North once again criticized our government as ‘puppet’ and ‘shameless robbers.’ Also, the act of breaking the hard-won agreement only drives South-North Korea relations back to the state of confrontation from the atmosphere of dialogue. The North must realize that there is nothing it can gain through confrontational behavior.
-           Also, we cannot help but be concerned about North Korea engaging in another armed provocation as it stated ‘decisive and strong confrontation measures.’ We warn that such action will only strengthen our stern punishment and international sanctions.
  • Our government has continued to provide 18 billion won worth of humanitarian assistance such as nutritious food and antituberculosis drug for vulnerable groups, including infants and young children via private and international organizations like WHO regardless of political situation. Also, North Korea is well-aware of the fact that we did our best in preparing for a smooth proceeding of the separated family reunions.
-           North Korea should not ridicule our people by emphasizing unity of the people with mere words, but should immediately proceed with the separated family reunions to effectively help heal the anguish and wounds of our people.