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SUN, 2014-10-26  KST

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Koreas wrap up reunions for war-separated families

Updated: 2014-02-26 06:27:45 KST
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It was an emotional day at North Korea's Mount Kumgang on Tuesday, as the two Koreas wrapped up their first reunion event for war-separated families in more than three years.
For most, this could be the last time they'll ever see their families living on the other side of the border, as many are already over the age of 80.



"Please open the window. When will I meet you. This is the last time. When will I see my brother again."

The six-day event was conducted in two rounds, with the first three days arranged by South Korea and the final three days arranged by the North.
Experts say this rare show of cooperation between the Koreas could lead to a broader thawing of inter-Korean ties.


"It signifies the first step for improving inter-Korean ties and serves as a foundation for holding the family reunions on a regular basis, and an occasion to show the world that the two Koreas can solve problems through dialogue."

Upon holding a successful reunion event, the two sides had agreed to address additional humanitarian issues, such as making the family reunions a regular event and sending food and medical aid to the North.
Such efforts fall in line with President Park Geun-hye's principle of approaching softer issues before addressing more serious matters like North Korea's nuclear program.
Experts say if the Koreas maintain the momentum for dialogue, the possibility of a North Korean provocation is low.


"Reflecting on previous cases, there was almost no provocation by North Korea when there was inter-Korean dialogue or cooperation. Even if there was, it was resolved very quickly."

Further strenghtening the notion, a second day of joint military drills between South Korea and the United States was conducted Tuesday, but North Korea has yet to criticize its southern neighbor for them.
Hwang Sung-hee, Arirang News.


Reporter : ssung86@arirang.co.kr

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