Two Koreas agree to hold family reunionsUpdated: 2014-02-06 06:28:00 (KST)
After just four hours of discussions, the two Koreas agreed on Wednesday to resume the long-suspended reunions for families separated by the Korean War.
"The Koreas have agreed to hold a round of family reunions from February 20th to the 25th at Mt. Kumgang."
The divided family members selected for last year's canceled reunions will take part with 1-hundred South Koreans meeting with their loved ones in the first round and another 1-hundred North Koreans 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, the upcoming drills were not a major issue during the talks.
"There was no specific mention by North Korea of the South Korea-U.S. joint military drills nor a call for the military exercises to be canceled during the talks."
Regarding North Korea's last-minute cancellation of a round of family reunions last year, the ministry said the two sides agreed that such an incident should not happen again.
Millions of Koreans were separated by the Korean War more than six decades ago and considering their ages, the time to see their loved ones one last time is running out.
"The two Koreas 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."
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