DELEGATIONS from North and South Korea met on Friday for talks to arrange the first reunions in about three years for families separated by the Korean War, with the Red Cross paving the way.
The effort is among the steps promised by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in to improve relations that had deteriorated over the North’s nuclear and missile programs.
Friday’s meeting, which began at 0100 GMT in a hotel in North Korea’s tourist destination of Mount Kumgang, comes after the two sides agreed in April to pursue a reunion to mark a common national holiday in August.
“We should make active efforts for good results today by trusting and being considerate of each other,” said Pak Yong Il, the leader of the North’s delegation.
“We should also part with the past and go down the road our leaders have forged for us,” added Pak, the deputy head of the North’s agency to promote reunification, the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.
South Korean officials have called for the visits between separated families to resume as a “humanitarian and human rights issue”, especially since many individuals are now in their 80s.