Seoul mulls proposing inter-Korean family reunions

By 정주원
  • Published : Aug 7, 2014 - 13:27
  • Updated : Aug 7, 2014 - 13:27
South Korea has not decided yet whether or when to propose to North Korea to hold another round of family reunions, an official here said Thursday.

The upcoming Chuseok holiday, Korea's biggest traditional autumn celebration, offers a good chance for the two Koreas to resume the event for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

This year's Chuseok falls on Sept. 8.

"Since it is a humanitarian matter, it can be reviewed on a working level. For now, however, no specific decision has been made," the official at the South's unification ministry told reporters. "A decision will likely be made in consideration of South-North relations."

If the two sides reach an agreement to hold a family reunion on the occasion of Chuseok, there would be no time-related problem for preparations, he added.

Given previous cases, it takes five to six weeks to open such an event, he said, meaning that if the two Koreas have working-level talks in mid-August, they can hold family reunions in late September.

The last family reunion took place in February at the Mount Geumgang resort in North Korea, the first of its kind since 2010.

Observers say there is a chance that President Park Geun-hye will extend an offer during her Aug. 15 Liberation Day speech.

In her address to mark the March 1st Independence Movement Day, President Park suggested regular family reunions with North Korea. (Yonhap)