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Two Koreas begin family reunion talks

English.news.cn   2014-02-05 10:09:28

SOUTH KOREA-SEOUL-FAMILY REUNION TALKS
Lee Duk-Haeng (C), chief South Korean delegate and committee member of the South Korean Red Cross, talks to the media before departing for the family reunion talks in truce village of Panmunjom, in Seoul, South Korea, Feb. 5, 2014. South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) began working-level contact at the border village of Panmunjeom on Wednesday to sort out details on the agreed reunion of separated families. (Xinhua/Park Jin-hee)

 

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) began working-level contact at the border village of Panmunjeom on Wednesday to sort out details on the agreed reunion of separated families.

Three delegates from both sides began the reunion talks around 10 a.m. at Tongilgak, an administrative building on the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjeom, Seoul's Unification Ministry said.

Seoul and Pyongyang agreed Monday to hold talks between Red Cross officials to discuss preparations necessary for the reunion event.

On Jan. 24, the two Koreas agreed on the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War at the DPRK's scenic Mount Kumgang resort. Seoul proposed the reunion be held from Feb. 17 to 22, which Pyongyang had agreed to. "I'll do my best to deliver good news to separated families and step off on the right foot to improve inter-Korean relations,"Lee Duk-Haeng, chief South Korean delegate and committee member of the South Korean Red Cross, told reporters before heading to the dialogue venue.

The two Koreas originally planned to hold the reunion in late September last year for relatives of both sides who failed to meet each other for six decades as the civil war ended in armistice, not peace treaty.

The DPRK, however, abruptly delayed the reunion at the last minute. At that time, Pyongyang sought to link the humanitarian event to resuming tour to Mount Kumgang, a scenic resort in the DPRK's southeast coast, but Seoul tried to deal with the reunion issue separately from the tourism issue.

If the reunion is to be held this month as agreed, it would be the first in three years. Around 22,000 Koreans met their relatives through 18 rounds of reunion held between 1985 and 2010.

Concerns remained ahead of annual military exercises between Seoul and Washington. South Korean military has confirmed that it will conduct the Key Resolve and the Foal Eagle war games with the United States from late February to April as scheduled, noting that the military drills are defensive in nature.

Some worried that Pyongyang may delay the family reunion date during the working-level talks due to the joint military drills, which the DPRK has denounced as the rehearsal for a northward invasion.

Related:

Two Koreas agree to hold working-level talks for family reunion this week

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People 's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed Monday to hold working-level talks between Red Cross officials this week to sort out details on the agreed family reunion.

Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a press briefing that Pyongyang accepted Seoul's earlier proposal for the working- level contact, saying that the DPRK offered to hold the talks on Wednesday or Thursday at South Korea's convenience at Tonilgak, an administrative building on the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjeom. Full story

DPRK proposes working-level contacts for family reunion this week

SEOUL, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) proposed Monday to South Korea to hold the working- level contacts between Red Cross officials within this week, Seoul' s Unification Ministry said.

Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told an emergency press conference that Pyongyang accepted Seoul's earlier proposal for the working-level contacts, saying that the DPRK offered to hold the meeting on Wednesday or Thursday at South Korea's convenience at Tonilgak, an administrative building on the DPRK side of the truce village of Panmunjeom. Full story

DPRK reaffirms willingness to hold family reunion

BEIJING, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Ambassador of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Ji Jae Ryong on Wednesday reaffirmed the country's willingness to hold a family reunion after the Lunar New Year.

Ji made the remarks at a press conference held at the DPRK embassy in Beijing. Full story

S. Korea regrets no response from DPRK to dialogue offer for family reunion

SEOUL, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- South Korea expressed regrets to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday as Pyongyang had yet to give any response to Seoul's proposal to hold working-level dialogue to sort out details on the agreed reunion of separated families.Full Story

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