North, South Korea OK Family Reunions

Meetings signal easing tensions
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 28, 2009 8:33 AM CDT
A South Korean talks with a volunteer to fill out an application form to reunite with her family members who live in North Korea, at the headquarters of Korea Red Cross in Seoul, today.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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(Newser) – North and South Korea have agreed to resume allowing reunions for families separated by the Korean War, in a sign that tensions are once again easing between the nations, the BBC reports. North Korea called off the meetings 2 years ago, after South Korea’s newly-elected President Lee Myung-bak ended unconditional aide, instead tying the money to nuclear disarmament progress.

Before that the countries regularly hosted Red Cross talks on humanitarian issues, and roughly 16,000 families were given brief reunions. New reunions will be held at the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea, from Sept. 26-Oct. 1. But only a tiny fraction of the tens of thousands of families divided by the war will get the opportunity to meet there. For many others, time is running out.