South Korea and North Korea Hold Family Reunions
Michael Song, Oct. 20, 2015, 10:05 a.m.
Some 389 mostly elderly South Koreans gathered in Sokcho, Gangwon Province on Monday on their way to a reunion with their long-lost relatives in North Korea. Four people were unable to come for health reasons, and many of the others arrived in wheelchairs at the Hanwha Resort. They stayed overnight there after signing up and receiving guideline on how to behave in the North.
An association of companies in the joint Kaesong Industrial Complex donated gifts worth W31.2 million, including underwear, socks, winter jackets and scarves produced at the industrial park for families who could not afford them (US$1=W1,125).
The Korean Red Cross prepared 34 wheelchairs for older people. The South Korean families then traveled by bus to Mt. Kumgang on Tuesday morning to meet 96 relatives they have not seen since the 1950-53 Korean War. The first round takes place until Thursday, with six strictly supervised group or individual meetings.
Some 114 supporting staff and 29 reporters are accompanying the South Koreans. Meanwhile, the North Korean propaganda website Uriminzokkiri was defiant after President Park Geung-hye and her U.S. counterpart Barack Obama in Washington called on the North to give up its nuclear weapons program.
"Do they not know that we will never give up nuclear weapons unless the U.S.' hostile policy and nuclear threat are removed?" It said. It denounced the two presidents' statement as "nothing but a scrap of paper."