Seoul (AsiaNews) - The
government of North Korea has canceled and "indefinitely" postponed the reunification between families separated by the war of 1950. Pyongyang has not given any reasons for the decision, which contrasts the détente of the past few weeks, but accused Southern "conservatives" of
being "hostile" toward the North. For the moment, Seoul has not commented on the incident.
An estimated 73 thousand South Koreans want to embrace their family members who stayed behind in the North. Of those who survived the war, 9.3% are over 90 years of age, 40.5% are over 80 and 30.6% over 70. In her speech on August 15 marking Korean Liberation Day (from Japan), South Korean President Park Geun-hye pointed out that it would be "inhuman" not to allow these people to "say goodbye for the last time" to their families. The reunifications were to have started on September 19 for Chuseok, the Korean "Thanksgiving" and concluded this morning.
According to some analysts, the decision - which contrasts with the reopening of the inter-Korean industrial complex of Kaesong - was fueled by a scandal that has engulfed Seoul's secret services NIS. According observers, including the Korean Church, the organization manipulated the last presidential election, launched a comprehensive program of population control and sold some sensitive data on North Korea abroad.