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UN grants sanctions exemption for video reunions of separated families

The United Nations Security Council has granted a sanctions waiver to enable video reunions for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War, an official said Monday.

The council made the decision last week to allow relevant equipment to be sent to the North, paving the way for the two Koreas to hold the reunions as agreed by their leaders last year, the official said. 


South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed at their third summit in Pyongyang in September to cooperate in allowing separated families to hold video reunions and exchange video messages.

The equipment at the video conferencing rooms needed repair as it had not been used since the last event in 2007. Adopted in 2005, the video reunions have been held seven times.

"As inter-Korean relations became ever more important following the collapse of the second US-North Korea summit, we will actively push for cross-border exchanges within the boundaries of existing sanctions," a government source said.

The preparations for the reunion event, such as the exchange of lists of participants, are expected to take at least a month to complete.

Separately, Moon vowed to push for the separated families and displaced people to visit their hometowns and meet with their relatives in a key national holiday address last week.

The Koreas remain technically at war as the Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. (Yonhap)
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