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North Korea Agrees to Talks on Reunions

North Korea’s Red Cross has agreed to working-level talks with its South Korean counterpart to discuss a resumption of reunions for Korean families separated by the Korean War six decades ago.

On Tuesday, the two sides agreed to take a series of steps to ease tensions and promote exchanges, including the resumption of reunions of the separated families.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry said Friday the South Korean Red Cross proposed talks on the reunion issue with its North Korean counterpart for September 7 at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone separating the two countries.

The agreement calls for reunions to be held sometime around the Korean harvest holiday of Chuseok, which this year falls on September 27.

The last set of family reunions was held in February 2014. While thousands of Koreans are on the waiting list for a visit with family members on the other side of the border, only a few hundred are allowed at each reunion. Many Koreans have died without seeing loved ones since the Korean War split the nation in the early 1950s.

The latest proposal has renewed hope for many elderly South Koreans hoping to reunite with their relatives in North Korea.

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