Family Reunions Continue Despite S.Korea-U.S. Drills

A second group of families separated by the Korean War were briefly reunited in North Korea's Mt. Kumgang resort on Monday. The reunion went ahead even though South Korea and the U.S. started annual joint military drills on Monday, which many feared would give North Korea an excuse to abort it.

Sisters who separated during the Korean War offer drinks to each other during a family reunion at Mt. Kumgang resort in North Korea on Monday. /Newsis Sisters who separated during the Korean War offer drinks to each other during a family reunion at Mt. Kumgang resort in North Korea on Monday. /Newsis

Some North Korean officials who were present at the event blamed Seoul for bringing in the U.S. troops while separated families were meeting. Others questioned why President Park Geun-hye could not have postponed the drills.

Asked about the prospect of making the family reunions a regular fixture, Ri Chung-bok, vice chairman of the North's Red Cross, said, "We need to discuss the matter further. The atmosphere right now is good."

Meanwhile, North Korean officials declined to discuss with South Korean reporters rumors that leader Kim Jong-un's wife is pregnant again.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 25, 2014 11:39 KST