There′s a tug of war going on between the
two Koreas,… acting as a drag on the momentum for dialogue.
The South wants to hold a round of reunions for war-separated families,… while the North
is protesting upcoming joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.
Hwang Sung-hee reports. South Korea says its proposal for a round
of reunions for war-separated families next month still stands, but it will not be making
any new offers to North Korea. The unification ministry said Friday the four-week
preparation process for the event will begin as soon as Pyongyang says yes. “Once there is an inter-Korean agreement to
hold a reunion event, the South Korean government plans to begin the necessary preparations.” The reunions could take place as late as the
end of next month, since a planned series of joint military drills between Seoul and
Washington has been pushed back to the first week of March.
But a postponement of the training exercise may not be enough for Pyongyang.
North Korea′s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva on Thursday protested the upcoming
drills, threatening another Korean War. “Otherwise, if there′s a standstill, and
we are on the state of pause, then there might be another Korean War, the second Korean War
on the Peninsula.” North Korea′s state-run Rodong Shinmun newspaper
on Friday also urged South Korea to end what it called “a rehearsal for an invasion that
destroys the mood for dialogue.” Seoul and Washington say the annual drills
are defensive in nature, but Pyongyang sees it as a practice for war.
And with North Korea sitting on South Korea′s offer for more than two weeks, analysts say
the current tug of war could lead to a loss of momentum for better inter-Korean ties.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.