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S. Korea approves civic group's plan to visit N. Korea

All Headlines 17:24 July 12, 2018

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's unification ministry on Thursday approved a plan by five members of a local civic group to visit North Korea next week, Seoul officials said.

The members of the Korean Council for Reconciliation and Cooperation (KCRC), devoted to cross-border civilian exchanges, plan to begin a four-day visit on Monday for a joint project to bring home the remains of Korean victims of forced labor under Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.

The delegation includes KCRC head Kim Hong-gul, the youngest son of late President Kim Dae-jung, who was known for his Sunshine Policy of engaging North Korea.

"(We) have approved the visit following consultations with related agencies," a ministry official said, declining to be named.

The inter-Korean retrieval project comes amid a growing sense of thaw between the two Koreas, which led to the landmark inter-Korean summit in April, where the leaders agreed to expand cross-border exchanges and reduce military tensions.

Historians say millions of Koreans were mobilized into forced labor during Japan's colonial rule. Kim has said the project may start with about 2,200 sets of remains that have been located around Japanese temples.

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