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Iran Press TV

North Korea threatens to cancel family reunion event with South

Iran Press TV

Wed Sep 30, 2015 8:5AM

North Korea has threatened to cancel a much-awaited reunion of the families forced apart by the Korean War over recent remarks by the South Korean president critical of Pyongyang.

Addressing the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Monday, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye said the North's nuclear weapons program was a serious threat to the regional and world peace and also censured the country over alleged human rights violations.

A statement issued late Tuesday by an unidentified spokesman from the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Park's comments were "utterly bereft of reason" and proved she was "hell-bent" on confrontation.

Earlier in the month, North Korea had said the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Center, the country's major nuclear facility, which is situated in its east, is in full operation and that Pyongyang is working to improve its nuclear weapons "in quality and quantity." The announcement raised fears of a possible fourth nuclear test by the country.

In the Tuesday statement, the North Korean spokesman accused Seoul of staging a "reckless confrontation row," which had put the reunion of the separated families "at serious peril."

"The event may prove completely abortive," the official added, referring to the reunion scheduled to take place between October 20 and 26, during which 100 families from the North and the same number from the South are expected to get together.

Millions of people were separated during the 1950-53 war.

The reunion program, which began in 2000, would take place annually for the first 10 years. Strained relations have, however, allowed only one to realize – in February 2014 – over the past five years.

The two Koreas have been at odds since the Korean War in the early 1950s.

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