Following all-night talks between the Red Cross branches of North and South Korea, both countries agreed on Tuesday to hold a reunion for families separated by the Korean War.
The Seoul government for the time being plans to bring to the table issues such as a comprehensive identifications of all registered separated families on both sides, exchange of letters and video reunions and the families’ visit to their hometowns in the opposite side.
North Korea has accused the South of misrepresenting their agreement to defuse tensions, and warned that the hard-won deal was being undermined by claims that Pyongyang had made an apology for border landmine blasts.
More than 66,000 South Korean family members have been separated by the Korean War of 1950-53, which is technically still in a cease-fire because no peace treaty was ever signed.
The decision came after overnight talks among the Koreas’ Red Cross officials at the border village of Panmunjom that began Monday.
Some foreign analysts remain skeptical about inter-Korean meeting because of speculation that North Korea will fire what it calls a satellite to celebrate the 70th birthday on October. 10 of its ruling party. Many asserted that the seating demonstrated to the world that China-South Korea relations are stronger than ever before and mused about the degree of shock the North Korean regime would be feeling after witnessing the seating arrangement. However, tensions forced them to cancel them five years ago in the final hour by North Korea.
It looks like some good might be coming out of the tense standoff between North Korea and South Korea last month, as the two combatants eventually settled their dispute and agreed to further talks.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency reports that “young people across the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea are turning out in the sacred war for defending the country with their faith and will to annihilate the enemies”.
An historic North-South meeting in 2000 opened the door for face-to-face family reunions.
Almost half of about 130,000 South Koreans, who had applied for a reunion since 1988, passed away without a chance to meet their long-lost relatives.
“The latest South Korea-US biological defence exercise will examine and enhance the countries’ combined response system regarding the naturally- or intentionally-raised biological threats that can take place on the Korean Peninsula”, the ministry said.