SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- South Korea will send an advance team to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Saturday to prepare for the agreed family reunion event scheduled to begin next week, Seoul's Unification Ministry said Friday.
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a press briefing that a forward team composed of 15 officials will be dispatched to the scenic resort of Mount Kumgang on Saturday to exchange the final list of participants in the reunion and adjust detailed schedules.
A group of technicians were already sent to the venue a week earlier to repair facilities there for the humanitarian event. Around 100 people stayed in the DPRK's mountain resort as of Thursday, Kim said.
Seoul and Pyongyang agreed last week to hold the reunion of separated families from Feb. 20 to 25 at the scenic Mount Kumgang resort in the DPRK's southeast coast. About 200 people from both sides will be allowed to meet their long-lost relatives.
Millions of Koreans have been separated for six decades as the 1950-53 Korean War ended in armistice. Around 22,000 Koreans living across the inter-Korean border met at the past 18 rounds of family reunions held between 1985 and 2010.
The two Koreas began the second round of talks between high- ranking officials Friday morning after the first round of dialogue, the highest level in around seven years, ended without any tangible agreement two days earlier.
At the first round, the DPRK called for South Korea to delay the joint military exercises with the United States to dates after the end of the family reunion. Pyongyang said that dialogue and the rehearsal for war of aggression cannot be compatible.
Combine forces of South Korea and the U.S. will stage the "Key Resolve" and "Foal Eagle" war games from Feb. 24 to April 18, dates that overlap for two days with the reunion event. Seoul said that it was not appropriate to link the humanitarian issue to the military matter for national security, vowing to carry out the drills as scheduled.
UN chief urges DPRK to follow through on family reunions agreement
UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon has called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to follow through on an agreement on holding a reunion of families separated by the Korean War on the sidelines of the ongoing Winter Olympics in Russia, a UN spokesman told reporters here on Monday.
"The secretary-general spoke in Sochi with Kim Yong Nam, chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly of the DPRK," said Martin Nesirky, Ban's spokesperson, at a daily briefing.Full story
S. Korea stresses irrelevance of family reunion to military drill with U.S.
SEOUL, Feb. 10 (Xinhua) -- South Korea on Monday stressed irrelevance of the agreed family reunion to the joint military exercises with the United States following the announcement of detail schedules for the annual drills.
Unification Ministry spokesman Kim Eui-do told a routine press briefing that the "Key Resolve" is an annually-held joint military exercise of defensive nature as explained several times before, saying that it has nothing to do with the family reunion event.Full story