North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in

Koreas to hold family reunion events in August

ANI | Updated: Jun 22, 2018 19:03 IST

Seoul [South Korea], Jun 22 (ANI): North and South Korea have agreed to hold reunions of families who were separated in the six-decade-long Korean War in North Korea, from August 20 to 26.
The agreement was made during a Red Cross meeting at a hotel on Mount Kumgang, involving delegations from the two Koreas.
The four-member South Korean delegation was led by Park Kyung-seo, head of the Korean Red Cross, while a three-member North Korean delegation was headed by Pak Yong-il, vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, Yonhap News Agency reported.
The delegations discussed other humanitarian issues and agreed to exchange the final lists of people who will join the reunion events by August 4.
As per a joint statement, Seoul will send its advance team to Mount Kumgang to make necessary preparations for the reunions.
This is the first such event being held after a gap of almost three years.
The last such event was held in October 2015.
Since, the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000, North and South Korea have held 20 family reunion events so far, as per the report.
Meanwhile, the two Koreas agreed to hold working-level Red Cross talks to further discuss the family reunions and other humanitarian issues.
South Korea has always expressed keenness in holding family reunion events, but North Korea's response has been tepid in recent times.
Pyongyang had asked Seoul to extradite its restaurant workers who defected to South Korea from China in 2016 as a precondition for the same, according to the report.
As per the latest data from the South Korean unification ministry, the number of separated families registered in South Korea stood at 132,134 in mid-May this year, out of which at least 56,890 of them were still alive.
In a 2016 survey, the ministry found out that 74.7 percent of the separated families living in South Korea did not say whether their families and relatives were alive or not in North Korea.
86 percent of them are over 70 years, the ministry said.
This is the latest reconciliatory step taken by the two Koreas in recent months, following the twin inter-Korean summits in April and May at Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed to thorn out differences and cooperate in various inter-Korean projects. (ANI)