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North Korea postpones meetings of separated families

September 21, 2013, 11:03 UTC+3
Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea has accused South Korea of intending to use the bilateral dialogue to unleash confrontation with Pyongyang
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Photo EPA

Photo EPA

SEOUL, September 21 (Itar-Tass) - North Korea has postponed meetings of relatives separated by the 1950-53 Korean war.

The decision will be in force "until a normal atmosphere is created" for bilateral talks, South Korea's Yonhap news agency said on Saturday.

North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea has accused South Korea of intending to use the bilateral dialogue to unleash confrontation with Pyongyang and warned about possible "resolute counter-measures" that could be taken in response.

Dialogue and war never can go together, the agency cites the committee as saying in the statement.

A group of South Korean Red Cross representatives went to North Korea on Friday to organize a meeting of separated families. They crossed the border and headed for the mountain resort of Kumnagsan. Ninety six people from the South were planned to participate in the meeting, and 100 were expected from the North.

After the historic inter-Korean summit in 2000, two Koreas organized meetings of relatives who had not seen each other for more than 50 years. The last meeting was held in October 2010. Usually, the meetings are timed to coincide with Chuseok, an autumn holiday like Thanksgiving Day in the West. Residents of divided Korea in the North and the South have no possibility to visit each other, write letters, call or chat in the Internet.

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