Date set for reunions of war-separated Korean families | Asia| An in-depth look at news from across the continent | DW | 22.06.2018
  1. Inhalt
  2. Navigation
  3. Weitere Inhalte
  4. Metanavigation
  5. Suche
  6. Choose from 30 Languages

Asia

Date set for reunions of war-separated Korean families

The decision to continue the reunions was among the agreements reached between the North and the South at their landmark summit in April. Some 100 people will be allowed to participate.

North and South Korea on Friday agreed that reunions for families who were separated by the Korean War would resume in August.

The meetings will be the first to occur since 2015, as the two Koreas continue to try to ease tensions amid the North's commitment to denuclearization.

The decision to continue the reunions was among the agreements reached between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their landmark summit in April.

Read more: Korean family reunions: Too little, too late?

Officials from both sides met at the North's scenic Mount Kumgang resort on Friday and decided the reunions will take place August 20–26, with 100 participants from the North and South.

South Korea uses a computerized lottery system to pick participants, while the North's system is unclear, but it is believed it only picks citizens seen as loyal to its authoritarian government.

Three days to make up for decades

The current reunion program began following a historic inter-Korean summit in 2000 and was initially held annually before becoming scarce.

Only about 57,000 people who have registered with the South Korean Red Cross for the chance to meet their separated relatives remain alive, with most of them aged over 70.

Read more: Korea summit 'is a great opportunity'

After the war ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty, the two Koreas banned millions of people who found themselves suddenly divided from visiting each other's territory across the border.

Most have still had no word on whether their loved ones are alive, with the governments prohibiting the exchange of letters, phone calls and emails.

Participants are given just three days to make up for decades of lost time with their family.

Watch video 00:31
Now live
00:31 mins.

North and South Korea to allow family reunions

law/kms (AFP, AP, dpa)

DW recommends

Audios and videos on the topic