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Korean Family Reunions Continue

A second group of South Koreans is meeting with North Korean relatives at a reunion for families divided since the Korean War in the early 1950s.

A total of 357 South Koreans were reunited with 88 elderly relatives from the North on the second of three days of family reunions at Mount Kumgang, a resort on the North's east coast.

The emotional reunions began with a first group of separated family members on Thursday. The 82 South Koreans and 180 North Koreans spent time getting reacquainted, exchanging gifts and sharing photos of family members that neither side even knew existed.

It is the first time in more than three years the reunions have been held. Previous events have been canceled at the last minute because of lingering political tensions.

The current round also was nearly called off because of North Korea's frustration with joint South Korean-U.S. military drills that are set to begin Monday.



Pyongyang views the drills as provocative and called for them to be canceled, moved or delayed. But its decision to go ahead with the reunions has many cautiously optimistic about improved inter-Korean ties.

Others say it is not likely the reunions will bring on any drastic change, pointing out that just one month after the last reunions in 2010, the North attacked a South Korean island, killing four people.

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