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NK Proposes Separated Family Reunions Next Week

Posted September. 13, 2010 11:47,   


North Korea has proposed reunions of inter-Korean separated families over the Chuseok (Full Moon Harvest) holidays Sept. 21-23.

This is the latest sign of thawing tension between the two Koreas following the North’s return of a South Korean fishing boat and Seoul’s decision to provide flood relief supplies.

South Korea said it will “positively consider the offer” and propose regular reunions of separated families.

The North`s official Korean Central News Agency said Saturday that the head of the North’s Red Cross, Jang Jae On, proposed “a fresh round of reunions of separated families at Mount Kumgang on the Chuseok holidays” in a letter addressed to South Korean counterpart Yoo Chong-ha.

Pyongyang also suggested a working-level meeting of Red Cross officials from both sides at the earliest date possible. The two Koreas held such reunions at Mount Kumgang last year from Sept. 26 to Oct. 1 on the occasion of Chuseok.

The South’s Red Cross said Saturday, “We are positively considering the North’s offer and will prepare measures in consultation with the government.”

A ranking Seoul official told reporters Sunday, "(Because of too many applicants for the reunions), it is impossible to predict when this issue will be resolved if reunions end up as an one-time event,” adding, "We will propose to the North regular family reunions between the South and North Korean Red Cross."

"On working-level contacts to provide relief supplies (rice and cement) for flood damage as requested by the North, we will send the North a memo signed by the South Korean Red Cross early this week."

The memo was expected to be transmitted as early as Monday.