Koreas exchange final list of participants for upcoming family reunions

World Today

Koreas reunion

The two Koreas are one step closer to holding a reunion for families separated by the Korean War. They’ve exchanged final lists of 200 people who will be allowed to participate. CGTN’s Jack Barton reports.

There have been less than two-dozen reunions for just some of the families separated after an armistice was signed in 1953, bringing major hostilities in the Korean War to an end.

The reunions are always painful and heartfelt events that are all too brief before the families are separated once again.

The next reunion is scheduled for six days starting on the 20th of August – part of an agreement struck between DPRK leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at their April summit.

In South Korea, the lucky few are just a fraction of the slightly more than 59,000 surviving registered family members. It’s been 65 years since the armistice was signed, and time is clearly running out.

The South’s Ministry of Unification says at least 4,000 family members passed away last year. The exact figures for the DPRK are unknown.

South Korea’s Vice Unification Minister visited the Mount Kumgang resort on the DPRK’s east coast on Wednesday, to examine joint renovation efforts at the reportedly dilapidated reunion venue.

Inter-Korean Red Cross officials met at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone on Saturday to exchange the final lists of participants. Officials on both sides have checked their health, willingness to attend, and most importantly, whether their families remain alive on the other side of the demilitarized zone.