S. Korea, DPRK to Discuss Reunion of Separated Families

Red Cross officials from South Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) will meet in the DPRK next week to discuss the procedural matters of arranging reunions of family members separated by the Korean War in the early 1950s.

The South Korean side has accepted a DPRK proposal to have the meeting at Kumgangsan (Diamond Mountains) Hotel, about 200 kilometers southeast of Pyongyang, a South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman said Thursday.

On Wednesday, the DPRK Red Cross Society proposed the change of the meeting venue from the truce village of Panmunjom to Kumgangsan.

The South Korean Red Cross said it suggested opening five telephone lines to facilitate communications between the hotel and Seoul and allowing South Korean journalists to cover the meeting.

"In order to hold talks efficiently, we believe it appropriate to set up five South-North hot lines between Seoul and the Kumgangsan Hotel and to guarantee press coverage," said a spokesman for the South Korean Red Cross.

At the inter-Korean summit held in Pyongyang last week, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and DPRK leader Kim Jong Il agreed to arrange reunions of separated family members on August 15, timed with the 55th anniversary of the liberation of the Korean Peninsula from Japanese colonization.

People's Daily Online --- http://www.peopledaily.com.cn/english/