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THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / KOREAN PENINSULA

Mass Family Reunion Abruptly Canceled

October 12, 2001|From Times Staff Reports

North Korea abruptly requested today that a scheduled reunion next week of 200 separated family members in the two Korean states be postponed indefinitely, the South Korean government said.

North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, a powerful party organization, mentioned "a situation that has been formed in South Korea," Seoul's Unification Ministry said.

The committee's statement, broadcast by the North's Pyongyang Radio station, did not elaborate on the nature of the "new situation in South Korea" that compelled it to request the postponement.

In mid-September, the two Koreas had agreed to stage a new round of reunions for separated family members from each side.

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