Two Koreas to discuss family reunions on Feb. 5 in PanmunjomUpdated: 2014-02-04 12:00:17 (KST)
The two Koreas will meet for working-level talks on Wednesday morning at the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss resuming the long-suspended reunions for families separated since the Korean War.
South Korea's Unification Ministry said Tuesday that the two sides will exchange lists of their Red Cross delegations through the inter-Korean hotline before the end of the day.
This comes after North Korea broke its week-long silence to propose that the Koreas meet for working-level talks on either Wednesday or Thursday.
South Korea had previously proposed holding the event from February 17th to the 22nd at North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort.
But will the event go forward according to the South's proposed timeframe?
Since it takes roughly two weeks to prepare for such an event, the Koreas are up against the clock.
Another thing that could push the reunions back is the upcoming joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, scheduled to begin late this month.
Seoul and Washington say the annual drills, involving thousands of troops, are purely defensive in nature, but Pyongyang views them as a war game.
Experts say the North could make a counterproposal on the reunion dates that would have the event taking place after the Key Resolve and Foal Eagle exercises, which end in April.
But because North Korea has a history of walking away from its agreements, it remains to be seen whether the reunions will go forward at all.
In any case, the elderly people waiting to reunite with long-lost family members for the first time in more than six decades will likely have their fingers crossed until the day they see their loved ones again.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.
Reporter : firstname.lastname@example.org