News / Asia

N. Korea Rejects South's Offer to Resume Family Reunions

A picture of the reunion of family members from North and South Korea in 2010 is displayed at the headquarters of the Korea Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 7, 2014.
A picture of the reunion of family members from North and South Korea in 2010 is displayed at the headquarters of the Korea Red Cross in Seoul, South Korea, Jan. 7, 2014.
VOA News
North Korea has rejected a South Korean proposal to resume reunions of families separated during the countries' 1950s conflict.

South Korean President Park Geun-hye had suggested the meetings, last held in 2010, take place at the end of this month during the Lunar New Year holiday.

But on Thursday, the North's official Korean Central News Agency cited a regular U.S.-South Korea joint military drill as a reason the reunions could not be held.

It quoted officials as saying the family meetings could eventually be discussed if the South is ready to talk about "the proposals of our side."

Pyongyang has tried to link the reunions to resuming South Korean visits to its Mount Kumgang resort. Seoul suspended the visits in 2008 following the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist in the area.

The impoverished North is anxious to open the resort because it is a valuable source of cash. But South Korea insists the Mount Kumgang issue be handled separately from the family reunion debate.

The South's Unification Ministry on Thursday expressed regret its offer was rejected, urging the North to "show sincerity through its actions, instead of talking about improving ties only with words."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un called for improved inter-Korean ties in his New Year's Day speech, as is usually the case in such addresses. But the speech also included a threat of nuclear war.

Last year, the two Koreas agreed to resume the family reunions, before the North canceled, blaming hostility from the South.

The reunion program, which began in 2000 following a historic inter-Korean summit, has briefly reunited around 17,000 people separated for about six decades by the Korean War.

You May Like

Uganda Court Annuls Anti-Gay Law

Court says law was passed in parliament without enough members present for a full quorum More

Multimedia Thailand Makes Efforts to Improve Conditions for Migrant Laborers

In Thailand, its not uncommon for parents to bring their children to work; one company, in-collaboration with other organizations, address safety concerns More

In Indonesia, Jihad Video Raises Concern

Video calls on Indonesians to join Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborersi
X
Steve Herman
August 01, 2014 6:22 PM
Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video In Thailand, Some Efforts to Improve Conditions For Migrant Laborers

Thailand has been facing increasing international scrutiny as a hub of human trafficking and slave labor. Some of the kingdom’s companies are striving to improve working conditions, especially for the millions of migrant laborers from surrounding countries. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok takes a look at one initiative for children at construction sites
Video

Video Public Raises its Voice on Power Plant Pollution

In the United States, proposed rules to cut pollution from the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants are generating a heated debate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, charged with writing and implementing the plan, has already received 300,000 written comments. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, another 1,600 people are lining up this week at EPA headquarters and at satellite offices around the country to give their testimony in person.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video China Investigates Powerful Former Security Chief

The public in China is welcoming the Communist Party's decision to investigate one of the country's once most powerful politicians, former domestic security chief Zhou Yongkang. Analysts say the move by President Xi Jinping is not only an effort to win more support for the party, but an essential step to furthering much needed economic reforms and removing those who would stand in the way of change. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.

AppleAndroid