Koreas to hold reunions for war-separated families in August
North and South Korea agreed on Friday (June 22nd) to resume reunions in August for families separated by the Korean War. It would be the first meetings since 2015 and the latest step in a remarkable diplomatic thaw on the peninsula.
South Korea's delegation leader Park and North Korea's delegation leader Pak shake hands during their meeting on Mount Kumgang, North Korea. (Photo: Reuters)
The reunions will be held from August 20th to 26th in the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort, said a joint statement released after an inter-Korean Red Cross meeting.
A hundred families from each side will be selected to participate, Yonhap news agency reported.
South Korean officials will begin inspections of Mount Kumgang resort from next week and the two sides will exchange their final lists of participants by August 4th.
Friday's meeting between the two delegations, held at a hotel on Mount Kumgang, was attended by the head of Korean Red Cross Park Kyung-seo, who led South Korea's four-member delegation, and Pak Yong Il, vice chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, who led North Korea's three-member delegation.
Millions of people were separated during the 1950-1953 conflict that sealed the pision of the peninsula. The resumption of the family reunions was one of the agreements reached between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South's president Moon Jae-in at their landmark summit in April.
South Korean officials have called for the reunions to be conducted from a humanitarian perspective, as many of the affected family members are now in their 80s./.