Two Koreas hold second round of family reunions

Seoul, Feb 23: South and North Koreas Sunday held in North Korea’s Mount Kumgang resort the second round of reunions of families separated in the 1950-53 Korean War.

A total of 357 South Koreans met their lost relatives from North Korea on the first of three days of family reunions at the resort, Xinhua reported.

The South Koreans, who have not seen their relatives for 60 years, departed from South Korea’s port city of Sokcho and crossed the inter-Korean border by bus in the morning.

On Saturday, 82 South Koreans, accompanied by 58 family members, came back from the mountain resort after spending three days with their relatives during the first round of the reunions.

South Korea and the US Sunday decided to carry out the annual joint military drills in a “low key” manner from next week considering the ongoing reunions of families, the military said. North Korea had previously urged Seoul to cancel or delay the joint military exercise.

The exercise, involving about 10,000 South Korean and 5,200 US forces, will be held between Feb 24 and March 6.

The 19th round of reunion, the first such humanitarian event since November 2010, came after top North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in his New Year speech voiced his willingness to improve relations with South Korea.

IANS