S. Korea again urges N.K. to accept dialogue on family reunions

South Korea on Tuesday renewed its call for North Korea to accept its latest dialogue offer, vowing to continue "multifaceted" efforts to resolve issues of war-torn families and ease border tensions.

Kim Sun-hyang, acting president of the Korean Red Cross, announcing South Korea's offer for talks on holding separated family reunions with North Korea on Aug. 1. (Yonhap)

Kim Sun-hyang, acting president of the Korean Red Cross, announcing South Korea's offer for talks on holding separated family reunions with North Korea on Aug. 1. (Yonhap)

The call came as North Korea fired a second intercontinental ballistic missile in less than a month Friday, spurning Seoul's proposals for talks, source from the Yonhap.

Tuesday is the day on which the government offered to hold Red Cross talks to resume reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

"The government is calling on North Korea to respond to Seoul's dialogue offer. We will make multifaceted efforts to resolve humanitarian issues and ease military tensions," said a government official, without elaborating.

The issue of separated families is one of the most pressing humanitarian matters for the two Koreas as more aging Koreans have passed away without being able to meet with their kin on the opposite side of the tense border.

The South also previously offered to open military talks with the North on easing border tensions on July 21, but Pyongyang did not respond to it.

Touching on a census on North Koreans, the official dismissed a report that South Korea withheld its move to consider giving around US$6 million in support to help finance the project amid North Korea's missile tests.

North Korea earlier said that it plans to conduct a preliminary survey of its population in October with technical support from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The census is slated for next year.

It would mark the North's first census since 2008, when the South provided Pyongyang with $4 million by tapping its inter-Korean cooperation fund.

"(The government) will make consultations with the U.N. agency to enable the South's opinions to be better reflected," the official said.

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