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ROK, DPRK begin talks on family reunion

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-23 11:34

SEOUL - Republic of Korea and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea on Friday began Red Cross working-level contacts for reunion of families separated by the Korean War (1950-53).

Three-member delegates from both sides started dialogue as of 10 am as scheduled at the Peace House in the ROK side of the truce village of Panmunjom, according to the Unification Ministry.

The Red Cross officials would discuss date, venue and participants for the family reunion. The family reunion was expected to be held in Mount Kumgang as demanded by Pyongyang, but doubts remain as to whether the event can be held around the Chuseok holidays given the time needed for preparations.

ROK's President Park Geun-hye said she hopes that the reunion could be held around one of the most important traditional holidays in ROK that falls on September 19 this year.

"Inter-Korean working-level Red Cross contacts are to be held in around three years. The family reunion issue is a humanitarian one that should be solved most urgently by the government," Lee Duk-haeng, Seoul's chief delegate, told reporters before leaving for the dialogue venue.

Lee said the delegates will do their best to alleviate pains of separated families by attending the talks in a sincere manner.

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