S Korea, DPRK hold second meeting on family reunions

11:20, September 24, 2010      

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South Korean Red Cross officials headed to Kaesong, across the border in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on Friday morning for a second round of talks on holding reunions for families separated by the Korean War.

Officials from South Korea and the DPRK met last week but failed to agree on arrangements for a resumption of the program, including a venue for the reunions, which were last held a year ago.

At the last meeting, the two sides settled to hold the reunions from Oct. 21 to 27. South Korea suggested bringing together more than 100 families at the family reunion center in the jointly-run Mount Kumgang tourist resort, while the DPRK insisted on 100 families and stayed vague about the proposed venue.

"The discussions will revolve around the reunion venue for the moment," Kim Eyi-do, a South Korean Unification Ministry official who heads the Red Cross delegation, was quoted as saying by local media before the departure.

Relations between the two sides deteriorated dramatically this year after the South Korea accused the DPRK of torpedoing its warship in March, killing 46 sailors.

The DPRK denied its involvement and threatened retaliation for military exercises staged by the South Korea as a show of force. But the proposal to resume the reunions comes amid a series of apparent peace overtures by the DPRK this month, which returned a South Korean fishing boat and seven crew which seized in August and requested flood aid from South Korea. The two sides last held reunions in September last year at Kumgang after a two-year hiatus.

Source: Xinhua


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