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Iran Press TV

North and South Korea agree to reunite war-split families

Iran Press TV

Fri Jun 22, 2018 05:15PM

North and South Korea have agreed to hold reunions of some of the families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War in August, the first since 2015.

Delegations from North and South Korea agreed on Friday that the reunions will be held in North Korea's tourist destination of Mount Kumgang on August 20-26.

"The whole world is marveling at the amazing developments between the North and South," said Pak Yong Il, the leader of the North Korean delegation at the talks that took place at a hotel in Mount Kumgang.

The reunions will be arranged by the Red Cross organizations from the two countries, they said in a joint statement after a meeting of delegations, adding the reunions will involve around 200 selected people from both sides.

The reunions come as tensions on the Korean Peninsula significantly eased.

South and North Korea suddenly began to mend ties in January. Later, the US, too, engaged in diplomacy with Pyongyang, which culminated in a summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12.

South Korean officials have often called for the resumption of the visits as a "humanitarian and human rights issue", particularly since many individuals are now in their 80s and 90s.

The first reunions took place in 1985. Nearly 20 have been held since then with the last in 2015.

Millions of people were displaced and many families permanently separated after the 1950-53 Korean War, which divided the peninsula.

As the conflict concluded with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas technically remain at war and direct exchanges of letters or telephone calls are prohibited.

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