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South Korean president calls for holding inter-Korean family reunions

January 06, 2014, 9:16 UTC+3 SEOUL
Park expressed her readiness to meet her North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un at any time, but emphasized that the talks should be substantial
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© EPA/KIM MIN-HEE

SEOUL, January 06, 9:00 /ITAR-TASS/. South Korean President Park Geun-hye has called for holding reunions of families separated by the 1950-1953 Korean War.

During a televised news conference on Monday she said inter-Korean family reunions could be held around Lunar New Year and promised to increase humanitarian aid to Pyongyang.

Park expressed her readiness to meet her North Korean counterpart Kim Jong Un at any time, but emphasized that the talks should be substantial.

The president highlighted her country’s intention to seek border exchanges between the two Koreas.

The implementation of humanitarian programmes such as family reunions would contribute to the improvement of inter-Korean relations, Park added.

“I hope that elderly members of separated families will get an opportunity to see their relatives around Lunar New Year. This will help them to heal their wounded hearts,” she said.

Park described the situation on the Korean Peninsula as “more threatening than before” as the execution of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s uncle, Jang Song Thaek, who was regarded as the second most powerful figure in North Korea, made it difficult to forecast how relations with Pyongyang would develop.

Park called on the two Koreas to seek reunion and stressed importance of liquidating North Korea’s nuclear programmes.

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