SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- South Korea reiterated its call on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to hold the family reunion event as scheduled after Pyongyang abruptly postponed it last weekend. "North Korea (DPRK) should rapidly respond to (our call for holding) the family reunion event to cure pain and scars of separated families," Kim Eui-do, Seoul's Unification Ministry spokesman, told a press briefing on Monday.
Seoul and Pyongyang originally planned to hold the reunion event for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, allowing up to 100 people from each side to meet their relatives for six days from Wednesday in the DPRK's Mount Kumgang resort.
The DPRK, however, announced its decision Saturday to delay the humanitarian event "until normal atmosphere is created" for the two Koreas to be able to hold dialogue and negotiations.
Kim said that the DPRK's unilateral delay of the family reunion cannot be justified by any excuse and explanation, noting that Pyongyang would face condemnations from the international community and South Korean people.
Touching on the talks on resuming the tour to Mount Kumgang, Kim stressed the ministry's persistent stance that the tour- resuming issue should be dealt with separately from the family reunion, saying that various issues should be resolved such as fact-finding on the tourist death, prevention of recurrence of such incident and guarantee on safety of tourists.
The tour to Mount Kumgang, launched in 1998, was halted in 2008 when a South Korean female tourist was shot dead by a DPRK solider for apparently venturing into an off-limit area.
Pyongyang notified Seoul of its decision to postpone the working-level dialogue to discuss the resumption of tour to Mount Kumgang. The two Koreas were scheduled to hold such talks on Oct. 2.
Experts in Seoul said that Pyongyang may seek to link the family reunion to the dialogue on resuming the Mount Kumgang tour, assessing that the DPRK believed that it can take the lead in the upcoming talks on the tour by putting off the reunion event.
Meanwhile, working-level talks for the Kaesong industrial complex will be held as scheduled, the spokesman said.
The two countries planned to hold the working-level dialogue on Tuesday to open the standing secretariat for the joint committee of the Kaesong industrial complex, which will take responsibility for running the factory park. The secretariat will provide administrative supports to the joint committee and four other subcommittees.