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Family reunion talks likely with N.Korea

Aug. 18, 2009 at 1:43 AM
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SEOUL, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- The South Korean government may propose talks on family reunions this week with North Korea, based on a Pyongyang pledge, a source told Yonhap news agency.

The report quoted the source as saying South Korea may make the proposal as early as Wednesday, either through military or maritime channels.

The Communist country agreed to resume family reunions and a number of other steps at a weekend meeting with the visiting chairwoman of Hyundai Corp., Hyun Jung-eun, the South Korean business conglomerate which has played a key role in inter-Korean commercial and tourism ties. The agreement must be endorsed by the South Korean government before it can be implemented.

The reunions concern families who were separated during the 1950-53 Korean War. North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had suggested restarting the reunions Oct. 3, which marks the Korean Thanksgiving, Yonhap said.

South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Chun Hae-sung said the government's top priority is resuming the family reunions, which were suspended in February.

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