N. Korea takes S. Korea's offer to discuss family reunions at Panmunjom
North Korea has accepted South Korea's offer to meet at Panmunjom on Friday for Red Cross talks on resuming reunions for families separated since the Korean War.
The two had been at odds over the venue for days, with the North pushing to hold the talks at its Mount Geumgang resort, and the South wanting to meet on the South Korean side of Panmunjom.
"North Korea has agreed to our proposal through the inter-Korean hotline to hold Red Cross talks on the South Korean side of Panmunjom tomorrow on the resumption of reunions for divided families."
From 10 a.m. on Friday, the three-member delegations from the two sides will discuss the scale and site of the reunions.
Some possible locations for the meeting are Mount Geumgang, Seoul and Pyongyang.
South Korea's unification ministry said it will put a priority on reuniting as many aging family members as possible, since more than 80 percent of the 73-thousand registered separated family members in the South are over the age of 70.
For now, Seoul is aiming to hold the reunions sometime around the middle of next month to coincide with Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving holiday.
If they do take place, the reunions would be the first such meetings in three years.
North Korea also made a counterproposal to Seoul's offer to hold talks on reopening the Mount Geumgang resort to South Korean tourists on September 25th.
Saying that the issue cannot wait that long, the North proposed to meet at the end of this month or the beginning of September.
South Korean tours to the Mount Geumgang resort came to an abrupt end in 2008 after a South Korean tourist was shot dead by a North Korean guard.
However, Seoul said it will have to thoroughly review North Korea's latest proposal before giving an answer.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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