Two Koreas Exchange Results of Search for Separated Family Members

Write : 2018-07-25 14:26:56 Update : 2018-07-25 14:52:14

Two Koreas Exchange Results of Search for Separated Family Members

Anchor: Red Cross officials from the two Koreas exchanged their lists of surviving members of families separated during the Korean War on Wednesday. The list exchange comes ahead of next month's family reunions at North Korea's Mount Geumgang resort.
Choi You Sun has this report.

Report: The South Korean Red Cross on Wednesday delivered a list of surviving family members of 200 North Korean reunion applicants living in the South to its North Korean counterpart at the truce village of Panmunjeom.

The North Korean Red Cross also handed over its list of family members of 250 South Koreans who have applied to attend the inter-Korean family reunions at the North's Mount Geumgang from August 20th to the 26th.

Based on the lists exchanged Wednesday, Seoul and Pyongyang plan to finalize the 100 people from each side that will participate in the reunions by August fourth.

The reunion event is a follow-up on the agreements made between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during their summit in April.

The upcoming round of reunions will be the first of their kind since October 2015, and the 21st round since the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000.

Wednesday's list exchange also comes days after North Korea renewed calls for the repatriation of its 12 restaurant workers, who defected to the South in 2016.

On Saturday, the Rodong Sinmun warned the issue could pose an obstacle to both the planned family reunions and future inter-Korean ties.

The group defection has been causing controversy, with the North calling it a mass abduction orchestrated by the South's previous conservative government. 

With regard to such claims, South Korean Unification Minster Cho Myoung-gyon at a parliament committee meeting Tuesday said he can only confirm that related agencies have informed him that the defectors came to the South by their own free will.

The minister, however, added Seoul will make efforts to understand what the defectors want for their future.
Choi You Sun, KBS World Radio News.

[Photo : YONHAP News]

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