N. Korea Already Threatening to Ax Reunions

Thanks to US B-52 flight
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2014 7:25 AM CST
South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae adjusts his glasses during a press conference at the government complex in Seoul, Feb. 6, 2014.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

(Newser) – Well, that was fast. North Korea is already threatening to call off a reunion for families separated by the Korean War that it agreed to only yesterday, in response to a US bomber sortie over South Korea. "As we were reaching an agreement on the separated families, B-52 bombers were engaging in nuclear strike drills against us," North Korea's National Defense Commission said, according to the BBC's translation. "As long as [South Korea] hurts our dignity … we can't help but reconsider fulfilling the agreement."

South Korea's main news agency says a single B-52—not a formation, as the North alleged—performed a training mission off the coast. But the flight is minor compared to South Korea's annual joint military drills with the US, which are scheduled to begin later this month. Similar drills scuttled a planned reunion last September. "Since North Korea is motivated by military thinking, a show of force is probably going to provoke a response," one North Korea expert tells Reuters, possibly including a reciprocal show of force. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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