NKorea Accepts South's Proposal for War-Torn Family Reunions

Sunday, 18 Aug 2013 07:41 AM

 

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea said on Sunday it had accepted a South Korean offer to hold working-level talks on resuming reunions of families separated by the Korean War, three days after an overture by South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Reclusive North Korea's decision comes amid easing tensions between North and South, technically still at war after their 1950-53 civil conflict ended in a mere truce, not a treaty.

The two sides agreed last week to reopen a jointly-run industrial complex inside the North, which was abruptly closed in April at the height of tensions, with the North threatening nuclear attack on the South and on the United States.

The North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement carried by KCNA news agency on Sunday the two sides should work together to resume family reunions.

If the token and highly choreographed reunions are held, they would be the first in nearly three years, with grieving family members falling in number due to old age.

"The reunion of separated families and their relatives shall be made in Mountain Kumgang resort on the occasion of the upcoming Harvest Moon Day," a committee spokesman said.

Pyongyang and Seoul would arrange details of the event including dates and venue through working-level talks on Friday, the statement added.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said it took the North's offer positively but asked for a change of venue.

"We would like the venue of meeting to be at the truce village of Panmunjom as we initially proposed, " ministry spokesman Kim Hyung-suk told reporters.

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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