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North and South Korea agree to hold reunions for families separated by war

 
Published Aug. 24, 2013

SEOUL, South Korea — North and South Korea agreed Friday to hold a new round of reunions for family members separated by the Korean War, the first such arrangement in three years and the latest sign of a thaw between the disputatious neighbors.

After a daylong meeting at a border truce village, the two Koreas said they would hold reunions Sept. 25-30 in the North's Mount Kumgang region.

Their agreement restarts what is perhaps the peninsula's most important humanitarian program, allowing brief but emotional get-togethers for relatives who live on opposite sides of the heavily militarized border.

Officials in Seoul have said the reunions are particularly urgent, given that most of the separated family members are in their 70s and 80s. Since 2000, the North and South have held 18 reunions for more than 20,000 people.