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S. Korea to conduct survey on separated families starting mid-April

All News 16:01 April 05, 2016

SEOUL, April 5 (Yonhap) -- South Korea said Tuesday it plans to check the state of surviving families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War starting mid-April to better prepare for possible family reunions.

South Korea's Unification Ministry said that it will conduct a survey on 65,000 members of separated families by September, asking whether they are willing to meet their relatives living in North Korea.

There are about 130,000 people currently on a waiting list for family reunions. About half of them have since passed away.

This will mark the first time since 2011 that the government has carried out a survey on separated families.

Under relevant laws, the government is required to conduct a survey of separated families every five years to check whether they are alive and want to meet their kin in the North.

The two Koreas held reunions for about 100 separated family members from each side at Mount Kumgang in the North in late October, the first such event since February 2014.

Seoul has been pushing to hold such family reunions on a regular basis, but the North has generally not been responsive.

North Korea's Red Cross on Friday blamed President Park Geun-hye for the suspension of the family reunions, announcing that it will cut off inter-Korean humanitarian exchanges.


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