But he insisted that he found Kim "unequivocal" in his statements that he is prepared to denuclearize, a first for the North Korean regime.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore on June 12.
South Korean Jo Soon-jeon, 83, right, hugs her North Korean youngest sister Jo Kwi Nyo during the Separated Family Reunion Meeting in 2015.
Officials had no on-the-record comment on the decision not to hold the event this year.
Japan started civilian evacuation drills previous year as North Korea test-fired numerous missiles near, and over, some Japanese islands.
The prime minister also said at the ceremony the United States and South Korea have chose to suspend joint military exercises and the North and South agreed to reunite 100 individuals from each side during a family reunion late August.
Repatriation of US War Remains Likely to Come Next Week
North Korean soldiers carry an aluminum casket containing remains of a US serviceman killed during the Korean War toward U.N. This would be his third visit to China, North Korea's main ally and key source of trade and economic assistance.
U.S. Oil Prices Slip a Bit Before OPEC Meeting
Oman's oil minister Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Rumhy said he believed Iran would agree to an output increase on Friday. Crude oil prices are trading lower early Thursday, but inside yesterday's range.
Governor’s rule won’t affect ongoing military operations in J&K: Army Chief
Shah had also met senior ministers from the state government, along with party in-charge Ram Madhav , in New Delhi on Tuesday morning.
In stark contrast, all six pages of the newspaper previous 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". An unremarkable event anywhere else, it was a small bombshell in North Korea, which besides many other eccentricities is spectacularly puritanical and has always hidden the spouses of leaders away.
Millions of Korean families were forced apart by the division of the country at the end of World War II.
He said that the United Nations Command in South Korea is standing by to receive the remains. Nearly all of them are over 70 years old.
North Korea's change in tone and messaging remains nuanced though.
Mintaro Oba, a former USA diplomat who focused on North Korea policy, said the cancellation was significant: "It tells us that North Korea has enough confidence in the staying power of engagement with the United States - for now - that they want to create a more positive atmosphere at home and send more constructive signals overseas".
Last week South Korea's military denied artilleries were brought up at the inter-Korea talks at the border, according to the Chosun Ilbo.
State media referred to Trump quite deferentially in their reports of the summit, calling him by his full name and adding the title of president of the United States of America - itself a somewhat jarring contrast to the way it normally spits out merely the surname of USA officials, with no titles.
Brian Padden and AP reported this story for VOA News.