North Korea has accepted the offer by South Korea’s Red Cross to hold working-level talks on September 7 to discuss the reunions of families separated since the Korean War, the South’s Ministry of Unification (MoU) said Saturday.
The talks would take place at the House of Peace in Panmunjom on the Southern side of the DMZ.
The MoU said South Korea received the answer from the North through a contact channel in Panmunjom at around 1 p.m. on Saturday. Their rapid response, taking place within a day and during weekend is particularly unusual.
“The agenda to discuss in the Red Cross talks would be focused on family reunion events, expecting to talk about a plan to hold the reunions on a regular basis,” MoU spokesman Jung Joon-hee said at a regular briefing on Monday.
“The specific date is still on the table, so it would be decided through further consultations with North Korea. The South Korean government also would consider the separated families’ earnest desire to meet their family members in the North, therefore the government would try to hold the reunion events around Chuseok, the Korean Thanksgiving Day on September 27.”
Jung also said there is a possibility to exchange lists to confirm whether the members of the separated families are still alive or not. These details, however, would take more time to learn.
According to the Integrated Information System for Separated Families, the last face-to face meeting for separated families was held in 2014. A total of 16,256 people have visited North Korea to meet their family members in the face-to-face meetings. A video meeting last happened in 2007.
Featured Image: Screen capture from a regular briefing of Ministry of Unification
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