중앙데일리

Defectors to South bid to join reunion

June 23,2003
North Korean defectors living in the South have applied for the separated family reunion set to begin Friday, and the government is weeding out their applications. Defectors are banned from participating in the event.
The two Koreas recently agreed to hold the seventh separated family reunion at the North’s Mount Geumgang from Friday till July 2.
South Korea’s Red Cross, which organizes the event here, has run multiple computer checks to make sure that no North Korean defector is included in the event.
“We told the defectors upon entry to South Korea that they would not qualify for the reunion event,” a government official said Sunday.
According to the Unification Ministry and the Red Cross, there are already 110,000 people waiting to meet family members, after being separated by the Korean war 50 years ago. Defectors are considered as having voluntarily separated from their families. North Korea would also likely object to the defectors’ participation, the government official said.


by Jeong Yong-soo


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