Koreas agree to hold family reunions from Sept. 25th-30th at Mt. Geumgang
After nearly 12 hours of marathon negotiations on Friday, the two Koreas agreed to hold reunions for separated families at the end of next month in Mount Geumgang.
"We agreed to hold face-to-face reunions from September 25th to the 30th to coincide with Korean Thanksgivings holiday at Mount Geumgang with 1-hundred family members from each Koreas."
At issue was the location and the scale of reunion.
Initially, 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.
But 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.
In preparation for next month's reunion, the Koreas will begin conducting check-ups on the surviving family members starting from August 29th.
The family members have been separated since the Korean War in the 1950s, so most of them are now over the age of 70.
The final lists of participants will be exchanged on September 16th.
The two 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.
Meanwhile, the issue of resuming South Korean tours to the Mount Geumgang resort was not brought up at Friday's talks.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
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