Press Release (October 27)
Holding regular family reunions to continue to be discussed at the next round of the inter- Korean Red Cross talks
North and South Koreas held an inter-Korean Red Cross talks for two days from October 26 to 27 at the Janamsan Hotel in the North Korean border town of Kaesong.
l There were 3 general sessions and 2 meetings between the heads of the delegations during the talks where they had serious discussions on addressing issues of separated families.
l They agreed to meet again on November 25 and continue to discuss these issues.
At the meeting, the South Korean delegation presented specific solutions to issues of separated families and urged North Korea to accept them.
l The proposals were:
- To hold an inter-Korean family reunion once a month from next March with 100 families from both sides at the reunion center near Mt. Geumgang
- To confirm survivors and their addresses from December this year
- To allow 1000 people from both the North and the South to exchange letters from next January
- To give an opportunity to those who have already met their separated families to see them again when and where they want to
- To conduct a pilot program to help people aged 80 or over among separated families to visit their hometowns next April
l The South Korean delegation also emphasized the significance of resolving issues of POWs and South Korean abductees, and insisted that whether they survive or not should be identified.
The North Korean delegates said that humanitarian cooperative projects also need to be revitalized, asking South Korea to send 500,000 tons of rice and 300,000 tons of fertilizer to North Korea.
l They said that the place for family reunions should be agreed first before hosting family reunions on a regular basis, so the next inter-Korean working-level meeting to resume tours to Mt. Geumgang should be held as soon as possible.
In response to North Korea s proposal for rice and fertilizer, the South Korean delegation explained that such a large-scale assistance to North Korea should be considered at the government level.
l South Korean delegates made it clear that resuming tours to Mt. Geumgang is a different issue, and it should not be linked to holding regular family reunions.
l The North and South delegates agreed on having another round of inter-Korean Red Cross meeting later next month to continue to talk about what was discussed today.
The Republic of Korea National Red Cross