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South Korean president proposes new family reunions with North Korea

Published on Jan 6, 2014 1:06 PM

SEOUL (AFP) - South Korean President Park Geun Hye on Monday proposed fresh reunions of families separated by the Korean War after a previous bid was cancelled by Pyongyang, and promised increased humanitarian aid to the impoverished North.

In her New Year press conference, Ms Park also said the shock purge and execution last month of Jang Song Thaek, the once-powerful uncle and political regent to young leader Kim Jong Un, raised uncertainties over the stability of the Stalinist state.

North Korea in September last year cancelled a scheduled reunion of families divided by the war, dealing an emotional blow to elderly Koreans denied a longed-for, and probably final, meeting with surviving relatives.

After a painstaking selection process, 96 South Koreans had been set to travel to the North's Mount Kumgang resort for a face-to-face gathering with family members they haven't seen for 60 years.

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