The North Korean regime continues its campaign to present leader Kim Jong-un as an approachable modern statesman, with an attractive wife on his arm and other photogenic trappings.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in this May 9, 2018 photo released on May 10, 2018 by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang.
South Korean Jo Soon-jeon, 83, right, hugs her North Korean youngest sister Jo Kwi Nyo during the Separated Family Reunion Meeting in 2015.
Mattis will also push for more regional security cooperation from China by pointing out that the suspension of US military exercises with South Korea satisfies a major Chinese strategic objective, which is the real reason China has insisted so strongly on its "freeze-for-freeze" plan that made suspension of American exercises a precondition for nuclear talks with North Korea.
Last year's event reportedly involved 100,000 demonstrators.
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North Korea has also tried to withhold its participation in family reunions until certain political conditions are met, such as halting activists in the South from sending outside information into the North.
In the wake of their meeting the U.S. pledged to suspend military drills with ally South Korea, exercises that have infuriated the North for years.
In stark contrast, all six pages of the newspaper past year were filled with colourful criticisms of the "US imperialists", blaming Americans for "a holocaust in which they massacred countless Koreans in the most brutal and barbarous way". The Korea Times called on North Korea "to pay more attention to humanitarian issues".
Footage also showed Kim casually smoking a cigarette as he chatted with diplomats at the North Korean Embassy in Beijing.
Millions of Korean families were forced apart by the division of the country at the end of World War II.
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The press briefing was held on Sunday in advance of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis's trip to Asia, during which he will visit China, South Korea, and Japan. Nearly all of them are over 70 years old.
Pompeo's comments contrast with those of a senior US defense official who, ahead of a trip by Secretary of Defense James Mattis to Asia, said the USA would be presenting a timeline of "specific asks" to North Korea soon.
Meanwhile, North and South Korea are contemplating moving long-range artillery away from the inter-Korean border.
Last week South Korea's military denied artilleries were brought up at the inter-Korea talks at the border, according to the Chosun Ilbo.
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