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North, South Korea Agree on More Reunion Talks - 2003-01-22

Red Cross officials from the two Koreas have agreed on another round of reunions for families separated by the divisions on the peninsula. The agreement comes as diplomatic moves continue to resolve the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear development program.

The Red Cross delegates, meeting in North Korea's Diamond Mountain resort, have agreed the next round of family reunions should take place starting February 20 and last for five days. Pool reports from the talks say the two sides also agreed to start work in April on establishing a permanent meeting place for future family reunions.

The February meetings will be the sixth round of family reunions since a landmark inter-Korean summit in 2000 outlined steps toward eventual reunification. Each side will select a hundred family members to travel across the border to meet relatives they have not seen in almost half a century by Cold War divisions of the peninsula.

The agreement came despite the international outcry over North Korea's recent decision to reactivate frozen nuclear facilities and to withdraw from a global arms treaty.

Ministers from both Koreas are meeting in Seoul the first cabinet level contact to address the nuclear dispute. At Wednesday's session, North Korea's delegate repeated that his country has no intention on using its nuclear facilities to make weapons.