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August 23, 2013

North, South Korea Begin Family Reunion Talks

by VOA News

North and South Korea have begun talks on reuniting families separated by the Korean War.

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

The South's Unification Ministry also said the North proposed holding talks soon on resuming South Korean visits to its Mount Kumgang resort. Seoul suspended the visits in 2008, following the fatal shooting of a South Korean woman by a North Korean soldier after she wandered into a restricted area.

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

The complex, located just north of the border between the two Koreas, 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.

 
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.