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North Korea threatens to renege on family reunions deal unless South scraps military drills with US

Published on Feb 6, 2014 2:52 PM
An elderly South Korean man wiping his tears as a North Korean relative (in the bus) waves to say good-bye after a luncheon during a separated family reunion meeting at the Mount Kumgang resort on the North's south-eastern coast, near the border on Oct 31, 2010. North Korea said on Thursday it may reconsider plans to hold reunions between families in the North and the South of the country if the United States and South Korea push ahead with planned annual military drills. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP/KOREA POOL

SEOUL (Reuters/AFP) - Barely a day after the two Koreas agreed to resume reunions for divided families, North Korea threatened on Thursday to renege on the deal unless the South scraps looming military drills with the United States.

“It’s outrageous that (South Korea) is pushing ahead with aggressive war manoeuvreing at a time when both sides reached a crucial agreement to realise national reconciliation and cooperation,” the North’s top military body, the National Defence Commission (NDC), said.

"At the time when the agreement was made on reunions of separated families and relatives at Panmunjom, a formation of the US B-52 strategic bombers were carrying out nuclear strike practices all day, aiming us," a spokesman at the policy department of the North's NDC was quoted as saying via the country's state-run television.

No one at the United States command in South Korea was immediately available to comment on the North's statement that B-52s had been deployed, and the United States Pacific command in Hawaii did not immediately return calls or e-mail messages.

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