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North Korea agrees to family reunions with the South

North Korea has agreed to a proposal by South Korea to resume reunions of families separated in the 1950-1953 Korean War.

Tearful korean reunion busEnlarge
North Koreans part with South Korean relatives after a family reunion in 2010. (Kim Ho-Young — Korea Pool/Getty Images)

North Korea has agreed to a proposal by South Korea to resume reunions of families separated in the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The statement out of Pyongyang came from North Korea's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea.

"The reunion of separated families and their relatives shall be made in Mt. Kumgang resort on the occasion of the upcoming Harvest Moon Day," it said.

The tourist resort is set to host the reunions on Sept. 19. Talks will be held between Red Cross officials from both the North and the South at the location on Aug. 23 to prepare for the important event.

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Several families were separated at the end of the Korean War when the peninsula was divided. The two sides are still technically at war, since a peace deal was never reached and the conflict ended in an armistice.

While the two Koreas have no direct telephone or mail contact with each other, some families in the South have, in recent years, managed to make contact with their relatives in the North, as China's border has become less strict and illegal cellphones have managed to get in to the insulated state.

The first family reunions took place after a summit between the two sides in 2000. Since then, 17,100, making up 3,500 families, have been reunited on more than 18 occasions.

The last reunion took place in 2010.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/north-korea/130818/north-korea-agrees-family-reunions-the-south