[EDITORIALS]Playing Games With Reconciliation

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[EDITORIALS]Playing Games With Reconciliation

North Korea blamed the South for delaying the reunion of separated families and the government talks, making us doubt the seriousness of its intention to continue inter-Korean dialogue and cooperation.

On Saturday, Pyeongyang shifted the blame for the delay of the reunion of separated families to the South. The Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland blamed Seoul for taking actions to increase tension, thus damaging North-South cooperation. Pyeongyang also demanded that the government-level talks be held at Mount Geumgang, and said the reunions had been delayed because the South rejected Pyeongyang's proposal to hold them during the Chuseok holidays. North Korea criticized the South as if Seoul were unenthusiastic about the reunions.

The argument is just a lame excuse. Seoul ordered the armed forces on special alert against possible terrorist attacks after the recent incidents in the United States; the move was unavoidable to protect national security, and many other countries adopted similar measures. We cannot understand why Pyeongyang believed that the alert was aimed at the North.

Seoul proposed to postpone the next reunion until after the Chuseok holidays at the fifth round of inter-Korean ministerial talks in order to help Pyeongyang. After administrative problems surrounded the first three reunions, Seoul believed the North would have difficulty hosting another with only 12 days to prepare. Although the North had accepted the delay, it suddenly switched to the attack, blaming and slandering us. We cannot tolerate such an unreasonable attitude.

The North should reflect on why the leaders of the United States, China and Russia all urged Pyeongyang to resume inter-Korean talks after their meetings with President Kim at the APEC forum in Shanghai. The North should agree to the reunion and resume official talks as soon as possible to quickly and smoothly improve relations between the two Koreas.

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