In response to the ROK government’s proposal on January 6 to hold separated families’ reunions and Red Cross working-level meetings, the Secretariat of the Committee of the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland of North Korea sent a message to the Ministry of Unification today.
In the message, North Korea argued that the South maintains a hostile stance against the North and said the reunions of separated families can only take place once obstacles are removed and the political atmosphere is appropriate.
North Korea wrote that it cannot hold the reunions of separated families while South Korea conducts military exercises and prepares to hold a large-scale joint military drill, and that the South must undertake other projects that North Korea proposed in the past in order to hold separated families’ reunions.
North Korea stated that the South and the North can sit face to face during a “good season” if the South is keen to discuss North Korea’s proposals to the South.
The ROK government expresses its regrets over North Korea’s decision to relate humanitarian issues to political issues such as the annual military exercise.
Our government is firm on its position that the separated families issues and North Korea’s proposals are two distinct matters.
North Korea must show its sincerity about improving inter-Korean relations through action, not by mere rhetoric.
Our government calls upon North Korea to respond to our proposal with sincerity.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Unification