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North, South Korea Finalize Talks on Family Reunions

  • VOA News

South Koreans on a bus bid farewell to their North Korean relatives after temporary family reunions at Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea, in this November 5, 2010, file photo.

South Koreans on a bus bid farewell to their North Korean relatives after temporary family reunions at Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea, in this November 5, 2010, file photo.

North and South Korea have finalized an agreement to hold talks Friday on reuniting families separated by the Korean War.

Seoul said Thursday Pyongyang agreed to its offer to hold the talks on the South Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom. It has been three years since the last official meeting between Korean families that were driven apart by the 1950s conflict.

The South's Unification Ministry also said the North proposed soon holding talks on resuming South Korean visits to its Mount Kumgang resort. Seoul suspended the visits in 2008 following the fatal shooting of a South Korean tourist in the area.

The talks are the latest conciliatory gesture following months of tension between the two rivals. The two Koreas last week agreed to re-open the jointly run Kaesong manufacturing complex.

The complex, located just north of the inter-Korean border, was closed earlier this year during heightened military tensions that were sparked by North Korea's nuclear test.

North Korea also responded with milder than usual language in criticizing an annual joint U.S.-South Korean military exercise that began this week.
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