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S Korean, DPRK separated families' reunions enter second segment
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15:16, September 29, 2009

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A group of 431 South Koreans are expected to meet their long-lost relatives in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday at Mount Kumgang resort during the second segment of ongoing family reunions.

The South Korean families arrived in Sokcho, a South Korea's eastern coastal border town, a day earlier to make final registrations and receive orientation. They headed to Mount Kumgang resort on the DPRK's east coast Tuesday morning.

Most of the participants were in their 70s to 90s. The oldest one is Kim Yu-jung, 100 years old, who will meet her 75-year-old daughter in the DPRK, Yonhap news agency reported.

The first two-hour reunion session will be held in the afternoon. Then, the South Korean government will host a banquet for the families. The three-day event, arranged by the Red Cross offices of both sides, will also include four more reunion sessions.

Ninety-seven South Koreans on Monday parted ways with their 233 relatives in the DPRK, as the first three-day segment of the reunions wrapped up.

The reunion program of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War began in 2000 after a historic inter- Korean summit between the two sides.

Since then, the two sides have held 16 rounds of face-to-face reunions and seven rounds of video exchanges.

The last reunions were held in October 2007. The program was suspended as ties between Pyongyang and Seoul soured after South Korea's conservative government under President Lee Myung-bak came to power in February 2008.

About 600,000 South Koreans are believed to have relatives in the DPRK. Ordinary citizens were not allowed to make phone calls, send letters or exchange e-mails.

Source: Xinhua

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