중앙데일리

Divided kin watch, wait

Red Cross talks to address reunions

Sept 05,2002
Red Cross officials from the two Koreas will meet Friday to discuss measures for a better solution to the problems faced by families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

The three-day meeting will take place at the North's Mount Geumgang resort.

The two Red Cross teams met for the first time in June 2000; this weekend's dialogue is the fourth since the start of the Kim Dae-jung administration. The delegations will try to resolve longstanding issues, even though there is no immediate hope for permanent reunification of divided Korean family members.

One high priority for Seoul's delegation is to open a permanent meeting place to allow temporary meetings of divided kin on an ongoing basis.

The South Korean Red Cross and the government want to open such a meeting point at Mount Geumgang before the end of this year; the South also plans to propose an exchange of addresses of elderly members of separated families on both sides of the demilitarized zone.

Led by South Korean Red Cross chief Suh Young-hoon, a 32-person team will leave for the North by sea Friday. Jang Jae-on is the chief negotiator for the North Korean Red Cross.

Liaison officers exchanged the final lists of 100 candidates from each side for this month's reunion at Mount Geumgang at the truce village of Panmunjeom Thursday. The schedule for this reunion, the fifth, is also on the meeting agenda.

In other intra-Korean news, the Unification Ministry said Thursday it will supply 200.6 billion won ($167 million) in rice and fertilizer aid to the North. The aid package includes 400,000 tons of rice and 100,000 tons of fertilizer.

Seoul will approve on Saturday outlays from the Inter-Korean Exchange and Cooperation Fund of 201.4 billion won, including for the rice and fertilizer aid package and another 800 million won to stage the separated family reunion.

by Lee Young-jong




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