In a blow to improving relations between the two Koreas, North Korea has ordered the indefinite postponement of a planned resumption of family reunions.
Six decades after the war that divided the peninsular many families are divided, cut off from each other by the frontier. On Wednesday it had been hoped six days of family reunions could begin, reuniting people who had not seen each other in all that time, or since the last such meetings held nearly three years ago.
The North is accusing Seoul of poisoning dialogue, and says the visits to the Mount Kumgang resort just north of the militarised border would be postponed until there was a “normal atmosphere”.
Analysts say the move may be North Korean leader Kim Jong-un attempting to extract more concessions from the south. For the North the tourist revenues visits to Mount Kumgang generate come first, whereas for the South it is the family reunions that are the priority.