Koreas to exchange confirmation letters for family reunions

Seoul, Oct 5 (IANS) South Korea and North Korea will exchange letters to confirm whether applicants for a reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War are still alive.

Seoul and Pyongyang have agreed to hold the reunion of separated families in North Korea’s scenic resort of Mount Kumgang from October 20 to 26, Xinhua news agency quoted Seoul’s unification ministry as saying on Monday.

Unification ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee said the two Koreas will exchange response letters on Monday, which would confirm whether applicants for the reunion, mostly in their 80s and 90s, are still alive.

After ensuring that the relatives are alive and still have willingness to join the reunion, South Korea and North Korea will trade the final lists on Thursday of 100 people, respectively, who will participate in the humanitarian event.

Millions of Koreans were separated after the Korean conflict ended in a truce but not a peace treaty. Since then, all civilian communications have been banned.

About 66,000 South Koreans have been on the waiting list for the reunion event, but a very limited number of the divided families have been allowed to join the rare event.

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