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Two Koreas exchange lists of candidates for family reunions

Two Koreas exchange lists of candidates for family reunions

Posted October. 27, 2000 20:30,   


The (South) Korea National Red Cross contacted its North Korean counterpart at their liaison office in the truce village of Panmunjom Friday and the two sides exchanged lists of 200 candidates for the reunions of families divided between the two Koreas. The Seoul side publicized the listed names in the day. After delivering the list, Jang Jae-On, central committee member of the North Korean Red Cross, sent a telegram to KNRC president Chang Choong-Sik, proposing that the second round of the family reunion program be held between Nov. 11 and Dec. 2. To this end, the North proposed that the two sides notify each other of the results of their respective efforts to determine the whereabouts of the displaced family members Nov. 10. The North set the same deadline for the exchange of the lists of 100 people finally selected for the mutual visits as well their safety guarantee memoranda.

With the North's notification of the resumption of the family reunion program, inter-Korean rapprochement is expected to pick up again, although the agreed schedules have been delayed due to Pyongyang's observance of the 55th anniversary of its Workers' Party and U. S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright¡¯s visit to the North. However, it is likely that the fourth inter-Korean ministerial talks slated for Nov. 28 to Dec. 2 will be consequently postponed. Accordingly, ensuring the continuous development of the inter-Korean relationship may still be difficult. Related officials said that the government would continue to discuss with the North the agreed matters related to the preparations for family reunions and the exchange of the lists of candidates whose whereabouts are confirmed. At the same time, the government will consult with the North on the implementation of the third round of family reunions within the year.

Meanwhile, Pyongyang proposed that inter-Korean working-level contacts be held Nov. 8-12. Lee Keun-Kyung, chief South Korean delegate, sent a telephone message to his North Korean counterpart, Chung Un-up, responding positively to the North Korean proposal. Those who want to confirm their inclusion on the list from the North are required to call the Unification Ministry's family reunion section (02-3705-3705)