Go to contents

2nd reunions to be limited to those over 70

Posted September. 18, 2000 20:47,   


For the second round of inter-Korean family unions, out of 9,4000 total applicants, 52,000 aged 70 and over will be eligible for visits to North Korea. The decision was made at the first screening committee meeting of the Korea National Red Cross Monday on the selection of candidates who will meet their separated kin in the North. And the committee also decided to choose the candidates by computer lottery at 3 p. m. Tuesday.

The KNRC officials said that priority for selection will be given to those in their 70s, with additional scores accorded to the oldest. For instance, applicants in their 80s will be given 10 points more and those in their 70s 4 points more. The choice will be made through random computer lottery. As in case of the previous family-reunion program, the next reunions will be selected with priorities given to the direct family members or fathers and mothers, and brothers and sisters. If they are in the same conditions, the elderly will be accorded priority, the officials added.

With the priority given to those who are over 70, prisoners of war and those kidnapped and held in the North will find it difficult to join the lottery this time. This is because the POWs are mostly over 100 years old and their children are under 70, while the wives and children of the kidnapped are mostly younger than 50. Hence, it is feared that the government measure could provoke complaints from them.