Koreas agree to hold family reunions from Sept. 25th-30th at Mt. GeumgangUpdated: 2013-08-23 20:41:52 (KST)
After nearly 12 hours of marathon negotiations, the two Koreas have agreed to on the date, the venue and the scale of reunions for families separated during the Korean War.
For more details, let's go live to our correspondent at the unification ministry.
Sung-hee, fill us in on the latest.
The two Koreas have agreed to hold face-to-face reunions from September 25 to the 30th to coincide with Chuseok, or Korean Thanksgiving holiday.
The reunions will take place at Mount Geumgang over in the North, with 1-hundred family members from each side.
This will be the first reunion for the divided families since October 2010.
Going into today's talks, Seoul had proposed to hold the reunion in either Seoul or Pyongyang to reunite as many family members as possible.
The ideal number of participants for the South was about 2-hundred from each side.
While Seoul seems to have given into North Korea's proposal, the two sides agreed to hold another round of reunions sometime in November this year and to meet for further discussions on the issue immediately after the first reunion next month.
The two sides will also hold video reunions for two days -- from October 22nd to 23rd -- with 40 families from each side.
Like you said, this will be the first such reunion in three years. Can you walk us through the preparations for the event?
Each side will begin conducting check-ups on the surviving family members starting from next week.
These are the families that were separated since the Korean War in the 1950s, so most of them are now over the age of 70.
The two Koreas will exchange their final lists of participants on September 16th.
The unification ministry says technical preparations for the reunion won't take long as the Mount Geumgang resort was the site of such reunions in the past and is therefore well-equipped for the event.
The Koreas agreed to work towards holding reunions on a regular basis as well as allowing them to exchange letters as part of efforts towards a fundamental solution to the issue of divided families.
Hwang Sung-hee, reporting live on the agreement reached between the two Koreas over family reunions that are now scheduled for September 25th through the 30th.
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