Seoul to send advance team to Pyongyang for family reunion

Seoul, Oct 14 (IANS) South Korea will send an advance government team and Red Cross officials for family reunion in North Korea for final coordination on schedules and gatherings, Seoul’s unification ministry said on Wednesday.

The reunion of Korean families, separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, was agreed in late August when top-level military advisors to South Korean President Park Geun-hye and top North Korea leader Kim Jong Un met to de-escalate tensions that had put the Korean peninsula on the brink of armed conflict, xinhua news agency reported.

Unification ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee said an advance team composed of 14 officials will visit North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort on Thursday, the venue for the October 20-26 reunion.

Millions of Koreans were divided after the Korean War ended in 1953 with a truce. Since then, civilian communications between the two Koreas have been banned.

The upcoming reunion would mark the 20th round since former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il held a summit in 2000 in Pyongyang.

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