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3 years ago

South and North Korean families to spend 11 hours together over three days at family reunions

Arirang News
Arirang News
Now, the next several days are going to be a busy news week in Korea,... as the long-stalled family reunion event, between those separated by the Military Demarcation Line for several decades, will be taking place north of the border.
But before starting a highly emotionally-charged week, we thought we'd start by giving you a preview of what to expect.
Our Unification Ministry correspondent Oh Jung-hee tells us more.
Next Monday, the two Koreas will start their first family reunions in three years... with the mood in Seoul and Pyongyang in full support of cooperation.
The reunions are for families that were torn apart by the Korean War.
Seoul and Pyongyang agreed to hold them when officials met in June for Red Cross talks,... and they'll be held for a week at North Korea's Mount Kumgang resort.
The reunions are held in two rounds -- the first when people chosen by South Korea meet their relatives from the North,... and the second when those chosen by North Korea meet their relatives from the South.
Seoul is sending 89 people, each of whom gets to take a relative with them as a chaperone.
On Sunday, ahead of their trip, the South Koreans will all gather in the eastern city of Sokcho,... where they'll be told about the do's and don'ts while they're in the North.
After spending the night in Sokcho, they'll cross the border on Monday morning.
For three days at North Korea's Mount Kumgang, they'll have 11 hours, divided up into six sessions, to spend time with their long lost relatives -- having meals together and chatting with each other... either in a public meeting room or in their private rooms.
And their tearful reunions will come to a close on Wednesday.
The same schedule will repeat once more for the next four days -- this time, for the 83 people Pyongyang has chosen to meet their relatives from the South.
The week-long family reunions will come to an end on Sunday, August 26th.

Currently, an advance team from South Korea is at the Mount Kumgang resort working with the North Korean authorities to fine-tune the details of the reunion schedule so as to minimize the inconvenience for the participants -- most of whom are in their 80s and 90s and have difficulty moving.
Seoul says it's bringing a lot more support staff than it did for previous reunions and will be caring most of all for the participants' health and safety -- already 9 families have given up participating in the reunions... due to health problems.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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