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Two Koreas agree to hold family reunion in late February

English.news.cn   2014-02-05 13:54:11

SOUTH KOREA-PAJU-FAMILY REUNION
Chief South Korean delegate Lee Duk-haeng (R) shakes hands with his Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) counterpart Park Yong-il prior to their working-level Red Cross meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in Paju, South Korea, Feb. 5, 2014. South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed Wednesday to hold reunion of separated families from Feb. 20 to 25, three days later than agreed before, according to local media reports. (Xinhua/South Korean Ministry of Unification)

SEOUL, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- South Korea and the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea (DPRK) agreed Wednesday to hold reunion of separated families from Feb. 20 to 25 at the DPRK's scenic resort of Mount Kumgang, according to Seoul's Unification Ministry.

Red Cross officials from both sides reached the agreement at talks at Tongilgak, an administrative building on the DPRK side of the border truce village of Panmunjeom.

Seoul originally proposed the family reunion from Feb. 17 to 22.

It took both sides around four hours to agree on the details for the family reunion, the first since October 2010.

The two Koreas planned to hold the family reunion in late September last year, but the DPRK postponed it at the last minute.

At that time, the DPRK sought to link the family reunion to resuming tour to Mount Kumgang on the DPRK's southeast coast, while Seoul tried to separate the reunion issue from the tourism issue.

The Unification Ministry said in a statement that South Korea complained at the Red Cross working-level talks about last year's failure to hold the agreed family reunion, noting both sides agreed that such failure should not happen again.

One hundred people from each side will meet their long-lost family members during the upcoming reunion. The two Koreas already exchanged lists of participants last September.

Millions of Koreans were separated by the 1950-53 Korean War which ended in armistice, not peace treaty. Around 22,000 Koreans living across the inter-Korean border met at the past 18 rounds of family reunions held between 1985 and 2010.

South Korea will dispatch personnel to Mount Kumgang resort on Friday to inspect and maintain the reunion venue and lodging facilities.

The talks took place after Pyongyang urged Seoul and Washington to cancel their joint annual military exercises due to begin in late February.

But South Korea rejected the demand, saying that it will carry out the Key Resolve and the Foal Eagle war games with the United States as scheduled, noting that the military drills were defensive in nature.

Last year, the U.S. military deployed nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers and B-52 bombers during the joint military exercises as tensions escalated on the Korean Peninsula following the third nuclear test conducted by the DPRK in February 2013.

It was expected that U.S. aircraft carrier would not participate in this year's joint military drills in a bid to minimize possible backlash from the DPRK.

Related:

Two Koreas begin family reunion talks

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. Full story

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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