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30,000 more separated families apply for reunions

Posted September. 06, 2000 20:23,   


A total of 29,963 people applied for future reunions of divided families in the two Koreas from July 28 to the last day of August, in addition to the displaced family members who applied for the August 15 family reunion program. With this, the number of people who submitted applications for future reunions totals 106,000, the Unification Ministry disclosed September 6.

In order to find out whether their long-lost relatives are alive or not, a total of 730 people have been confirmed, 394 by private channels and 336 by government authorities, the ministry said. Since the inauguration of the incumbent government in February 1998, separated family-related achievements are given as follows: 1,564 cases where the survival of divided family members was confirmed, 1,826 cases where divided family members were allowed to exchange correspondence, and 617 cases of mutual reunions. These figures have increased 5.0 times, 1.5 times, and 13.2 times, respectively, compared to the average annual numbers of past cases, the ministry officials said.

Meanwhile, the government and the Korea National Red Cross plan to conclude the acceptance of applications by September 7. But those who submitted applications before the August 15 family reunion will be qualified for the lottery for future reunions without having to reapply.

The following are telephone numbers for inquires and reception: KNRC (10-3705-3705), the North Korean provincial office (02-2287-2525) and the Unification Ministry (02-732-5437, 720-2430), internet homepage (http://reunion.unikorea.go.kr).