SEOUL, July 11 (Itar-Tass) - Pyongyang put off on Thursday talks with South Korea it had initiated earlier on reunions of families separated by the Korean War of 1950-1953 and trips of South Korean nationals to Kumgangsan, a South Korean government spokesman reported.
Under the initiative of North Korea, such talks could have been resumed on July 16 and 19 accordingly. North Korea said on Wednesday that Kaesong (North Korea) or Kumgangsan (Diamond Mountains) could be the venue. In order to mitigate sufferings of elderly members of separated families who have not seen their next-of-kin more than 60 years, Seoul accepted Pyongyang’s offer, but proposed to hold these talks on the South Korean side of the Joint Security Area in the border settlement of Panmunjom.
At talks on Wednesday on the future of the Kaesong Industrial Complex, established north of the border in 2000 as a rare symbol of cooperation, the sides failed to reach consensus, and agreed to continue the talks on July 15.
After the end of the Korean War, millions of Koreans found themselves on different sides of the border. As a result of several talks on the problem only several thousand of them have been able to embrace their relatives.
Tours of South Korean nationals to Kumgangsan launched in 1998 were stopped in July 2008 after a North Korean guard shot dead a housewife from Seoul who had walked into a restricted area.