The Korea Herald


S. Korean Red Cross expects family reunions around mid-October

By 윤민식

Published : Aug. 26, 2015 - 21:17

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Reunions of families on either side of the Korean Peninsula separated by the Korean War could be held around mid-October, a South Korean Red Cross official said Thursday.

In a breakthrough agreement following intensive talks earlier this week, the two Koreas said they’d hold Red Cross talks early September to arrange for family reunions.

“Considering the amount of time it takes from the inter-Korean Red Cross meetings to the actual reunions, I estimate the family meetings to take place around mid-October,” said Kim Sung-keun, head of the international and inter-Korean affairs bureau at the South Korean Red Cross.

There were hopes earlier that the meetings would be held around Chuseok, the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving Day, which is celebrated in both Koreas and falls on Sept. 27.

Another government official said the two Koreas should honor their agreement and should have working-level meetings on family reunions before Sept. 10.

One stumbling block for the mid-October family meetings could be the Oct. 10 celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Workers’

Party in Pyongyang. North Korea may launch long-range missiles around that time, which would dampen the conciliatory mood.

During the working-level Red Cross talks, the two sides will try to decide when to hold family meetings with how many people involved. Once those details are agreed upon, the Red Cross here will form a seven-person team to select individuals for the reunions. (Yonhap)