N. Korea postpones family reunions with S. Korea

SEOUL, Sept. 21 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Saturday it is postponing the planned reunions for families separated across the border on the divided Korean Peninsula, accusing the South of seeking confrontation with the communist nation.

The two Koreas have prepared to hold six days of family reunions from Sept. 25-30.

On Saturday, however, the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement that it is putting off the event until "a normal atmosphere can be created" for the two sides to hold talks and negotiations.

The North accused the South of abusing all inter-Korean talks and negotiations as a means to seek confrontation with the communist country.

Saturday's announcement underscored the unpredictability of the regime in Pyongyang.

Comment from the South Korean government was not immediately available.

Millions of Koreans were separated from their families following the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty, leaving the two sides still technically at war. Their border is tightly sealed, and there are no direct means of contact between ordinary civilians.

The divided Koreas have held 18 temporary reunions since a landmark summit between their leaders in 2000, bringing together more than 20,000 family members who had not seen each other since the war.

The last reunions were held in 2010.

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