News / Asia

North Korea Postpones Family Reunions With the South

South Korean applicants check their names of candidates who were to be allowed to meet their North Korean relatives in family reunions at the headquarters of Korea Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 24, 2013.South Korean applicants check their names of candidates who were to be allowed to meet their North Korean relatives in family reunions at the headquarters of Korea Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 24, 2013.
x
South Korean applicants check their names of candidates who were to be allowed to meet their North Korean relatives in family reunions at the headquarters of Korea Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 24, 2013.
South Korean applicants check their names of candidates who were to be allowed to meet their North Korean relatives in family reunions at the headquarters of Korea Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea, Aug. 24, 2013.
VOA News
North Korea has postponed next week's reunions of families separated by the 1950s Korean War because of what it perceives as hostile positions of the South.

The official Korean Central News Agency on Saturday quoted officials saying the meetings will not take place until "there can be a normal atmosphere where dialogue and negotiations can be held."

The paper, which reflects government positions, blamed unidentified South Korean conservatives for abusing inter-Korean relations. It also slammed Seoul for recent joint military drills with the United States.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said it is "very regretful" that the North decided to cancel the family reunions for "political reasons," saying the decision has "broken the hearts" of families separated by war.

The six days of reunions were scheduled to begin next Wednesday at the North's Mount Kumgang resort village. Under a deal reached last month, about 100 people from each side were to attend.

The reunions were suspended three years ago after North Korea shelled a South Korean border island. The reunion program began in 2000, following a historic inter-Korean summit.

The North's postponement comes amid a reduction in tensions between the two foes, which are still technically in a state of war since their 1950-'53 conflict ended in a truce and not a treaty.

Earlier this week, the two sides re-opened a symbolically important joint factory just north of the border. The Kaesong industrial complex had been shut down by the North since April amid heightened tensions that followed the North's third nuclear test.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More