Parties give mixed views on North Korea ties on war anniversary

SEOUL, Rival parties expressed mixed views about how to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula Monday as the two Koreas marked the 68th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1950-53 Korean War.

The ruling Democratic Party (DP) highlighted the need to resolve the most pressing humanitarian issue of war-separated families by instituting regular reunion events across the border.

"The issue of separated families warrants priority for resolution as a basic human rights matter," the DP said. "Now it is the time to muster support for the holding of family reunions on a regular basis, apart from the current one-off events."

The two Koreas decided Friday to hold reunions of separated families at the Mount Kumgang resort in the North from Aug. 20-26, the first such event in three years, implementing the agreement reached by the leaders of the two countries at their April summit. But the two sides stopped short of an agreement on the regularization of family reunions.

Meanwhile, the main opposition Liberty Korea Party (LKP) called for extra caution, even though North Korea's back-to-back summits with the South and the United States have helped set the stage for peace.

"North Korea has yet to take steps for complete denuclearization. But Seoul and Washington have already decided to suspend their joint military drills and the South's military is putting its exercises off, raising public concerns," the party said.

The minor opposition Bareunmirae Party called for the government to play an active role in bringing South Korean detainees in North Korea back home and holding reunions of war-separated families on a regular basis.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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