Red Cross Seeks Talks on Inter-Korean Family Reunions

      August 21, 2009 11:17

      The South Korean Red Cross proposed talks to North Korea's Red Cross on Thursday about resuming the reunions of families separated by the Korean War. North Korea has offered to resume the reunions on Chuseok or Korean Thanksgiving on Oct. 3.

      The Unification Ministry said South Korea's Red Cross sent a message to its North Korean counterpart proposing talks between Wednesday and Friday next week at the Mt. Kumgang resort in the North. It sent the message using a military communications line rather than a direct line linking the two Red Cross societies at the border truce village of Panmunjom, which was cut at the end of last year. The Unification Ministry said North Korea received the message, in which the South also urged the North to reconnect the phone line to ensure the smooth preparation of the family reunions.

      The South is expected to propose that 100 family members from the South go to Mt. Kumgang to be reunited with around 250 of their relatives from North Korea over a period of three days.

      During the last round of family reunions in October 2007, North Koreans traveled to South Korea. A South Korean Red Cross official said, "It takes considerable time to select the participants, so the actual reunion could take place after Chuseok."

      A member of a family separated by the Korean War submits an application at the Red Cross in Seoul for a meeting with her family members in the North on Thursday. /Yonhap
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