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Two Koreas agree on date for family reunions

Updated: 2014-02-05 16:16:47 (KST)
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The two Koreas agreed on Wednesday to resume the long-suspended reunions for families separated by the Korean War.
The reunions, which would be the first in more than three years, are scheduled from February 20th to the 25th at North Korea's Mt. Kumgang resort.
They will be conducted in two rounds, with 1-hundred family members from South Korea meeting with their loved ones in the first round and another 1-hundred family members from the North taking part in the second round.
A team of South Korean engineers will cross the border on Friday to check on facilities at the Mt. Kumgang resort, and a South Korean delegation will follow five days ahead of the event.
The planned reunions coincide with South Korea's annual joint military exercises with the United States, which run from late February through April.
North Korea had earlier warned that the humanitarian event could not take place during the military drills, and experts had pointed to the possibility of the North making a counterproposal on the reunion dates.
However, Seoul's unification ministry said Pyongyang proposed to hold the reunions on February 20th, just three days later than South Korea's initially proposed timeframe, and that the North did not make a fuss about the upcoming drills during Wednesday's talks.
Regarding North Korea's last-minute cancellation of a round of family reunions last year, the ministry said the two Koreas agreed that such an incident should not happen again.
The two sides also agreed to hold another round of Red Cross talks following the family reunions to discuss a range of humanitarian issues, which includes holding the reunions on a regular basis.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.


Reporter : ssung86@arirang.co.kr

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