N.Korea Threatens to Call Off Family Reunions

      February 07, 2014 09:12

      North Korea threatened on Thursday to delay or cancel reunions of families separated by the Korean War over South Korean press reports it deemed disrespectful to leader Kim Jong-un. The two Koreas agreed only a day earlier to arrange the reunions at Mt. Kumgang on Feb. 20-25.

      The North's National Defense Commission threatened to "reconsider fulfilling the agreement" if South Korea keeps reporting negatively on leader Kim Jong-un and his regime.

      The commission was apparently peeved at press reports here criticizing Kim for failing to take off his shoes in a nursery in Pyongyang, which in much of Asia is considered extremely boorish behavior.

      The North also objected to the U.S.'s B-52 strategic bombers maneuvering over the West Sea on the same day when Red Cross officials from the two Koreas met.

      "As we were reaching agreement on the separated families, B-52 bombers were engaging in nuclear strike drills against us above [South] Korea's western sea," the statement said.

      It also added dialogue and aggressive war maneuvering cannot go hand in hand "just as reconciliation and conflict cannot co-exist."

      "It's a nonsense to hold family reunions in a situation where dangerous nuclear war drills are staged."

      Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae told reporters the North stick to Wednesday's agreement.

      The Defense Ministry said joint South Korea-U.S. military exercises will go ahead as scheduled in late February.

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