UPDATE : 2019.9.15 SUN 09:13
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S. Koreans head to North for family reunion

South and North Korea will begin their weeklong reunion event for families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War on Monday.

A total of 89 South Koreans will hold the first session of meetings with their families living in North Korea at a Mount Kumgang resort on the North's east coast at 3 p.m.

They left for the venue early in the day from Sokcho, South Korea's northeastern town, where they spent the night.

The first group meeting will be followed by a dinner hosted by the North Korean side from 7-9 p.m.

On their second day, they are scheduled to meet again in the morning and have lunch together, the first time for separated families to have such a private meeting since the reunion event started.

They will meet on six occasions lasting about a combined 11 hours during their three-day stay that will end Wednesday.

The South Korean participants are mostly in their 70s and 80s, with a 101-year-old woman the oldest.

The government has dispatched around 30 medical and emergency staff to the venue in consideration of most of the participants in the reunion event are elderly.

From Friday to Sunday, 83 North Koreans will also be reunited with the families they have found alive in the South at the resort.

The family reunion is the result of an agreement their leaders reached in April to address humanitarian issues arising from nearly seven decades of division caused by the Korean War.

It marks the first of its kind to be held 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. Some 57,000 South Koreans are waiting to be reunited with their families who might be living in the North.

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

Hillary Kang  edt@koreapost.com

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