North and South Korea have reached an accord on restarting a reunion programme for families divided by the 1950-53 Korean War. The reunions, which begun in 2000, were shelved amid deteriorating relations since a conservative South Korean government took office in February 2008.
But talks on the issue, which resumed this week, is one of a series of conciliatory gestures by North Korea. Last week, Northern officials attended the funeral of South Korea’s former president Kim Dae-jung.
The reunions – the first since 2007 – will take place between 26 September and 1 October at a resort in North Korea. North and South Korea will each allow 100 people to see family members living on the other side of the border. The families will be allowed to stay for a few days, spending time and sharing meals together, before returning back to their homes. Since 2000, some 16,000 Koreans whose families were split by the war, have been briefly reunited.