Koreas agree to hold family reunions as plannedUpdated: 2014-02-14 21:54:09 (KST)
In the second round of high-level talks on Friday, the two Koreas agreed to hold the reunions for families separated since the Korean War next week as planned, in an effort to improve inter-Korean relations.
North Korea had earlier demanded the South postpone its joint military drills with the United States to sometime after the family reunions, but South Korea's chief delegate Kim Kyou-hyun said Pyongyang did not attach any preconditions this time around.
"North Korea did not object to the fact that the joint military drills that begin on February 24th will overlap with the family reunions."
Millions of Koreans were separated by the Korean War more than six decades ago and there are some 70-thousand South Korean family members waiting to see their loved ones one last time.
Next week's reunion will be the first such event in over three years as the North had cancelled a planned round of family reunions last September, just days before the event.
The South Korean official said that after hours of discussions, Pyongyang agreed that the humanitarian event could become a symbolic step forward in inter-Korean relations.
The two Koreas also agreed to stop throwing insults at each other to increase trust.
Ending cross-border slandering was part of North Korea's so-called "important proposal" made last month to the South.
The two sides will hold an additional round of high-level talks in the future, although no specific date has been set.
"The South Korean chief delegate said the government will thoroughly prepare for a successful reunion event next week. A 15-member South Korean delegation will depart for Mt. Kumgang on Saturday to fine-tune the details for the upcoming reunions.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News."
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