BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Ji Jae Ryong on Wednesday reaffirmed the country's willingness to hold a family reunion after the Lunar New Year.
Ji made the remarks at a press conference held at the DPRK embassy in Beijing.
He said the DPRK is determined to work with the Republic of Korea (ROK) to create an atmosphere of reconciliation and unity, hold reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, resume Mount Kumgang tourism, and promote north-south cooperation and exchanges.
The DPRK Red Cross has proposed holding the reunions at the Mount Kumgang resort after the Lunar New Year holiday when the weather is warmer, said the ambassador, adding that the proposal was sent to the ROK Red Cross.
On Monday, Seoul proposed holding the reunion event from Feb. 17 to Feb. 22 to Pyongyang.
To sort out details of the reunion, Seoul proposed holding working-level contacts between Red Cross officials on Wednesday at Tonilgak, an administrative building on the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjeom.
As the DPRK did not respond to the dialogue proposal until Tuesday, the two sides were unable to hold working-level contacts on Wednesday.
ROK Unification Ministry Spokesman Kim Eui-do on Wednesday urged that if Pyongyang is willing to hold the reunion, it should make clear its stance on Seoul's proposed dates.
The North-South reunion of separated families is greatly influenced by political factors.
ROK President Park Geun-hye offered on Jan. 6 to resume temporary family reunions around the Lunar New Year, but the DPRK rejected it, citing lingering obstacles, particularly the annual joint military drills between Seoul and Washington.
Seoul and Pyongyang originally planned to hold the family reunion in late September, but Pyongyang delayed the reunion.
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