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PYONGYANG, August 23 (Itar-Tass) - A delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) led by President Peter Maurer ended its visit to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, commonly referred to as North Korea, on Friday, the Korean Central News Agency reports.
Though Maurer had not met any foreign journalists in Pyongyang, well-informed sources say that the talks with North Korean officials dwelt on humanitarian cooperation such as the re-unification of families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean war and cooperation between the ICRC and the Red Cross Society of North Korea.
The North Korean authorities organized a diverse program for the ICRC delegation. It visited the birthplace of Kim Il Sung, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea from its establishment in 1948 until his death in 1994, in Mangyongdae-guyok. The delegation was taken to a demilitarized zone separating the two Korean states. The guests also saw the Ariran artistic and gymnastics show included in the Guinness Book of Records for its immensity.
The ICRC delegation has left Pyongyang for Beijing from where it will head for South Korea.
It was the first visit by the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has a permanent office in Pyongyang, to North Korea in 20 years.
Under the 2002 and 2005 agreements, the ICRC rendered assistance to two physical rehabilitation centers in North Korea set up for disabled people, including invalid servicemen. The ICRC office in Pyongyang supplied the centers with high-quality prosthetic devices, medical materials and power generators. The ICRC sent experienced surgeons and other specialists to North Korea. At the same time, the Committee issued grants to North Korean doctors enabling them to improve their skills.
The ICRC has acted in close cooperation with the Red Cross Society of North Korea.