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Seoul preps for meeting on family reunions

June 22,2018
South Korea’s delegation for an inter-Korean meeting discussing the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War departed Seoul on Thursday for an overnight stay in Goseong County, Gangwon, before traveling to North Korea’s Mount Kumgang, where the meeting is scheduled to be held today.

If all goes as planned, the four-member delegation will drive to the North using a road linking both countries along the east coast and arrive in Mount Kumgang, just above the border. The mountain’s resort has been the site of several previous family reunions. The last one was held December 2015.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed at their first summit in April to hold a reunion of war-torn families on Liberation Day, Aug. 15, when Korea gained independence from Japanese colonial rule. Today’s meeting is meant to iron out the details, including how many people will be allowed to attend. Most have not seen their families since the war ended in 1953.

But as of press time on Thursday, Pyongyang did not fax Seoul its list of delegates for the meeting, leaving open the possibility that it could be called off. Officials in Seoul said it appeared the North was going through some sort of administrative delay.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]