South Korean President Park Geun-hye on Monday proposed to resume the reunions for separated families between South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) around Lunar New Year.
"We hope to hold the reunion for our separated families who have been waiting for more than 40 years around the Lunar New Year, " Park said at her first news conference since inauguration, pledging to open a new era for the reunification of the Korean peninsula.
After the DPRK unilaterally delayed the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, inter-Korean ties turned frosty, with talks about resuming tour to the scenic Mount Kumgang resort postponed.
Park warned that situation of the DPRK has become " unpredictable" since the execution of Jang Song-Thaek, the once- powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong Un, stressing the significance of Pyongyang to give up nuclear weapons.
She added that the government will offer more humanitarian assistance to the DPRK in the New Year, which could help improve ties between both sides.
"The government will do everything possible to achieve people's happiness of the peninsula," said Park.
She also vowed to boost private sector exchanges between the south and north, adding that some NGOs can provide actual supports to help people of the two sides enjoy a closer relationship.
Responding to some South Korean citizens' worries about the cost of the reunification, Park stressed that the reunification will definitely provide new opportunities for the country's economy such as absorbing foreign investments.
Park called for international cooperation for solving the inner- Korean issues, saying the reunification cannot be achieved by South Korea alone.