| South Korean President Park Geun-hye urged North Korea Friday not to hurt the feelings of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, referring to the communist country`s threat to reconsider its agreement to hold reunions later this month.
"North Korea seems to be launching a peace offensive all of a sudden recently but we should not loosen our tensions particularly at a time like this," she said during an annual meeting at the presidential office with senior officials from across the government, military and civil society. "We should not loosen up even at a moment until the North gives up its nuclear program and makes a change to become a responsible member of the international community." She added, "I hope that by carrying out the reunions well, we will open the path to (improved) inter-Korean relations and move toward a new Korean Peninsula of peace and joint development."
"If you want peace, then prepare for war," she said. "Preparing for a war is not meant to go on a war but meant to maintain peace," she noted. "We should never forget that peace stand upon a solid foundation for security."
The annual pan-national security meeting is held to check the nation`s security posture involving the government, the military, the police, the local authorities and nongovernmental organizations. The meeting was the first since the launch of the Park administration in late February 2013.
Meanwhile, North Korea on Friday accepted a visit by a team of South Korean working-level officials preparing for the planned family reunions. A group of 64 South Korean officials including staff from the (South) Korean Red Cross and Hyundai Asan Co. arrived at the venue at the North`s scenic Mount Kumgang resort via the inter-Korean immigration office on Friday morning. They plan to examine family reunion facilities and hotels.
"North Korea will likely stage a two-track strategy for dividing the South by preparing for the reunions while threatening to cancel the event by linking it to the Key Resolve joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States.