Two Koreas to discuss resuming family reunions, venue for talks undecided
Just hours after North Korea accepted South Korea's offer for talks on family reunions, Seoul's Unification Ministry welcomed the news but reiterated that the meeting should take place at the truce village of Panmunjom.
"We once again propose that the Red Cross working-level talks take place at the South Korean side of Panmunjom as earlier proposed."
The ministry explained that Panmunjom is an ideal venue for the talks because of the convenience of its location.
Through its state-run Korean Central News Agency, the North earlier agreed to meet on Friday to discuss issues on resuming reunions for families separated during the Korean War but suggested that the talks be held at the scenic Mount Geumgang resort in North Korea.
} "The inter-Korean Red Cross working-level talks will take place on August 23rd as suggested by the South, but the venue will be changed to Mount Geumgang, so the two sides can tour the site of the reunion and discuss future plans."
North Korea also proposed to hold separate talks on Thursday on reopening the Mount Geumgang resort to South Korean tourists, offering to discuss Seoul's concerns like ensuring personal safety and protecting South Korean properties.
} The resort remains closed to South Koreans since 2008, after a tourist from the South was fatally shot by a North Korean guard.
The North claimed that the resumption of the tours to Mount Geumgang, following the normalization of the Gaeseong Industrial Complex will bring bigger joy to all Koreans, but Seoul said it needs more time to review Pyongyang's proposal.
Meanwhile, a South Korean communications and power inspection team will make its second trip to Gaeseong on Monday for a check on the facilities at the joint business park.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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