Two Koreas exchange names for reunions

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Two Koreas exchange names for reunions

Both Koreas exchanged their final lists of participants for the reunion of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War on Saturday.

The event is set to be held from Aug. 20 to 26 at Mount Kumgang, just north of the inter-Korean border on the East Sea.

South Korea’s Unification Ministry, which handles relations with Pyongyang, said in a press release that 93 South Koreans who applied to meet their families in the North will meet with their loved ones from Aug. 20 to 22.

A separate group of 88 North Koreans who applied to meet with their family members in the South will do so from Aug. 24 to 26. The total number of people from the South and North who will participate in the reunions was not revealed to the media.

An official from the ministry who spoke with the Korea JoongAng Daily on the condition of anonymity Sunday said that both countries did share a complete list of participants, but decided not to share the information with the press due to possible last-minute changes.

In February 2014, 170 applicants from both countries were chosen to meet with their family members.

The reunions resulted in 813 people from the two Koreas coming together, including guardians who were allowed to tag along, according to data from the Unification Ministry.

In October 2015, 186 applicants from both Koreas were chosen, and 972 people took part in total.

Of the 93 South Koreans who applied to meet with their families in the North later this month, 35 people (37.6 percent) are aged 90 or above, 46 people (49.5 percent) are 80 to 89 years old and the rest are 79 years old or younger. The oldest is 101 years old.

Sixty-eight people (73.1 percent) are male, while 25 people (26.9 percent) are female.

Forty-one people (44.1 percent) are expected to meet with their siblings and 10 (10.7 percent) are scheduled to see their grandparents, grandchildren, parents or children, while 42 (45.2 percent) will meet with more distant relatives.

Of the 88 North Koreans who applied to meet with their family in the South, five people (5.7 percent) are aged 90 or above, 62 (70.4 percent) are 80 to 89 years old and the rest are 79 years old or younger. The oldest are four 91-year-olds.

Forty-six North Koreans (52.3 percent) are male, while 42 of them are (47.7 percent) are female.

Sixty-one people (69.3 percent) are planning to meet with their siblings and three (3.4 percent) will see their grandparents, grandchildren, parents or children, while 24(27.3 percent) will meet with other family members.

BY LEE SUNG-EUN [lee.sungeun@joongang.co.kr]

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