N.K. hostilities appear designed to gain leverage

S. Korea to send message to N. Korea to call for early resumption of family reunions

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Published : 2014-01-26 15:44
Updated : 2014-01-26 15:45

South Korea plans to send a message to North Korea this week to welcome Pyongyang's proposal to hold reunions for separated families and call for an early resumption of the humanitarian program, a government official said Sunday.

North Korea, reversing its earlier decision, proposed Friday that the long-suspended separated family reunion program resume at a convenient time for South Korea after the Lunar New Year's holiday ends in early February. Seoul quickly welcomed the proposal.

On Monday, the South plans to send a message to the North, in which it plans to approve of the North's offer and call for an early resumption of the long-suspended family reunion program. Seoul also plans to make a proposal on how the two sides discuss the matter.

The South wants to hold working-level Red Cross meetings to discuss details of a new round of family reunions, but it could also accept the North's proposal to hold discussions through a liaison channel at the border village of Panmunjom, government sources said.

The South also wants to hold reunions in mid-February before the start of its joint military exercises with the United States. Pyongyang had earlier rejected Seoul's proposal to hold reunions, citing the planned drills. (Yonhap News)

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