Friday, February 14, 2014

2 Koreas agree to hold reunions as scheduled

North and South Korea completed the latest round of high-level talks. They agreed to hold inter-Korean family reunions as scheduled for 6 days starting from February 20th.

Senior officials from both sides talked for about 3 hours on Friday at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone.

South Korea's chief delegate, Kim Kyou-hyun, later told reporters that officials from the 2 Koreas agreed to go ahead with reunions of families separated by the Korean War.

Kim said the officials also agreed to stop making slanderous remarks about each other to encourage good will, and to hold another round of high-level talks if needed.

But North Korean officials reportedly suggested that they cannot hold family reunions at the same time as South Korea-US military exercises.

The North is opposed to the annual joint exercises set to start on February 24th.

Kim said he explained to the North Korean side that the planned reunions are a first step toward development of inter-Korean relations based on good will.

Kim added that North Korean officials accepted the view and both sides reached agreement.

But it still remains to be seen how North Korea will react after the joint military drills start.