South and North Korea exchanged the results of their weekslong search for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War Wednesday ahead of the upcoming reunion event, the unification ministry said.
The two Koreas are set to hold temporary family reunions from Aug. 20-26 at the Mount Kumgang resort on the North's east coast. It is a follow-up on the pledge made at the summit between their leaders in April to work together in addressing humanitarian issues.
The exchange came about three weeks after they asked each other to locate separated families on the other side. South Korea wanted 250 people to be located in the North, while the North asked the South to confirm if and whether 200 people are living here.
Based on the search results, the two will determine the final lists of people to be allowed to take part in the family reunions on Aug. 4. They earlier agreed to hold the event involving 100 people from each side.
South Korea first selected a total of 500 applicants through a computer lottery. That number was later whittled down to 250 in consideration of such factors as age and health.
The upcoming reunion event will be the first of its kind since October 2015. The two Koreas have held 20 rounds of face-to-face family reunions since the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000.
Government figures show that the number of South Koreans ever expressing intent to meet their families or relatives in the North stood at 132,124 as of the end of May, of which about 57,000 remain alive, with most of them in their 70s and older.
The two Koreas technically remain at war as the Korean War ended only with an armistice, not a peace treaty. (yonhap)
Hillary Kang firstname.lastname@example.org
<저작권자 © 코리아포스트, 무단 전재 및 재배포 금지>