North and South Korea agreed on Wednesday to hold another round of reunions of families separated since the 1950-1953 Korean War from Feb. 20 to 25, according to the South's Unification Ministry.
Following preliminary talks at the border village of Panmunjeom, the ministry released a statement saying that 100 people from each side will be selected to take part in the reunions at Mt. Kumgang, a resort on North Korea's east coast near the border with the South.
If held, the reunions would be the first since late 2010.
"We hope that the agreement will serve as an occasion to resolve the suffering of separated families," South Korea's chief delegate Lee Duck hang told reporters after returning from Panmunjom, according to Yonhap News Agency.
From Friday, officials from the South Korean side will travel to Mt. Kumgang to inspect the reunion facilities.
North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency also reported the agreement by both sides to hold the reunions.
Signs North Korea desires to improve inter-Korean ties
There had been speculation that the North would make the scrapping of annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the United States, due to begin later this month, a condition for the holding the reunions.
However, according to the South's delegates, although the North touched on the exercises in a roundabout manner by calling for an end to "hostile military acts," it did not demand that Seoul drop its plan to hold the military exercises.
By separating its opposition to the exercises from the holding of family reunions, the North appears to indicate its desire to improve inter-Korean ties.
Earlier last month, South Korean President Park Geun Hye proposed the two Koreas hold the reunions around the Lunar New Year, which fell on Jan. 31.
The North then offered to resume the reunions at Mt. Kumgang "at a convenient time" after the Lunar New Year.
Family reunions are a highly emotional issue on the divided Korean Peninsula as most of the separated family members are in their 70s and 80s and have expressed a strong wish to see their relatives before they die.
The two Koreas first arranged temporary reunions for separated family members after the landmark inter-Korean summit in 2000.
They have so far held 18 reunions, bringing together more than 20,000 family members who had not seen each other since the war.