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South Korea proposes regular family reunions with North Korea

Published on Mar 1, 2014 11:52 AM
South Korean Lee Oh-sun (left), 94, and her North Korean brother Cho Won Jae, 83, cry as they bid farewell after their three-day temporary family reunion at the Mount Kumgang resort in North Korea, on Feb 25, 2014. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean President Park Geun Hye made a formal proposal to North Korea on Saturday to hold family reunions regularly, uniting families separated since the 1950-53 Korean war, a sign Seoul is seeking to improve relations with the North.

The reunions used to be held roughly annually, but until this February, had not taken place since 2010 when tensions between the two Koreas spiralled after the South said the North sank one of its naval vessels.

The latest family reunion was held on February 20-25 at the Mount Kumgang resort just north of the border and a total of 813 family members met in tears and joy.

"I propose to North Korea to make family reunions regular in order to ease the deep sorrow of the separated families as soon as possible. North Korea too has separated families and I believe it also has to relieve their pain and agony," said Ms Park in a speech marking the March First Independence Movement Day.

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