Korea DPR and Korea Republic to discuss ways on holding separated family reunion on regular basis

The Unification Ministry said Monday that next week South and North Korea plan to discuss ways to hold reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War on a regular basis.
In a landmark deal, the two Koreas agreed last week to resume the much-anticipated reunions of separated families on the occasion of Korea’s fall harvest holiday slated for September. The family reunions have not been held since early 2014.
Officials from the two Korea’s Red Cross are scheduled to have working-level talks next Monday at the truce village of Panmunjom.
The ministry said that the agenda for the working-level talks will include details over the upcoming reunions and ways to hold family reunion events on a regular basis.
“The main agenda will focus on the preparation for the upcoming event, but also how to regularize the family reunions will be dealt with,” Jeong Joon-hee, ministry spokesman, said in a regular press briefing.
Jeong said that the government plans to do its best to hold the event as early as possible near the Chuseok holiday which falls on Sept. 27, given the aspirations of families in the South to meet their family members in the North.
The issue of the family reunions is the most emotional and pressing humanitarian matter as most of the surviving family members are aged over 70.
The ministry said that the number of South Koreans who have applied for family reunions reached some 129,000 as of end-December in 2014. Of those applicants, a total 68,264 people are alive while the remainder have passed away.
Since the first inter-Korean summit in 2000, the two Koreas have held 19 rounds of face-to-face family reunion events so far, including the last one held in February 2014. (Yonhap)

 

The Korea Herald

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